Vytorin takes lead in switches of cholesterol-lowering drugs

Share this article:
Mid-January saw Merck and Schering-Plough's jointly marketed statin combo Vytorin take the lead in projected switches of cholesterol-lowering indications for the first time since the drug's September 2004 launch, according to Verispan data.
Vytorin captured 21 percent of the switches from other cholesterol-lowering drugs, a total of 19,355 patient transactions, occurring during the week ending Jan. 14.
Thirty-six percent of the switches came from patients who previously took either Zocor or Zetia -- the two medications that are combined to form Vytorin -- 27 percent came from Pfizer's Lipitor, and 8 percent came from AstraZeneca's Crestor.
Vytorin's share of prescriptions also increased -- from 1.9 percent for the week ending Nov. 26 to 3 percent for the week ending Jan. 14.
During the week ending Jan. 14, Lipitor remained the drug of choice for patients taking cholesterol medication, capturing 46.7 percent of new starts. Vytorin captured 6.8 percent of these patients.
Vytorin has been aggressively promoted since its launch.
According to Verispan's promotional audits, over $60 million was spent on detailing, meeting and event support, journal advertising and direct-to-consumer promotion in the brand's first three months on the market.
Corbett Accel handles professional advertising, while DDB Worldwide heads up the DTC marketing effort.
Share this article:

Email Newsletters

More in Business Briefs

AstraZeneca takes on pediatricians

The American Academy of Pediatricians says an AstraZeneca drug for preemies should be used less often, and the drugmaker is fighting back with an ad campaign that says the new guidelines put too many at risk.

UK generic use soared in 2013

Generics made up almost 75% of prescriptions in the United Kingdom last year.

GSK refutes consumer spin-off rumor

The company refutes a Financial Times rumor that one was happening soonish.