Business briefs: AbbVie cuts sales staff; docs say patients share health data; Stonefly founder dies

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AbbVie is shaking off more than its parent company—a report from Bloomberg indicates the company is also shedding sales staff. An inside source told Bloomberg that the layoffs will be in the hundreds and will hit the reps which front heart drugs, such as cholesterol meds TriCor and Triplix, which started ceding ground to generics last fall. The news comes soon after the announcement that patent losses were also causing Lilly to cut its sales staff. In Lilly's case, the cuts were among reps in its neuroscience, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and men's health divisions.

Seven in ten physicians said at least one of their patients was sharing health measurement data with them, though that data might be getting lost in translation, as their methods of sharing it are a bit low-tech, a Manhattan Research survey has found. The top methods of sharing cited by docs were handwritten notes and printouts, the firm's Taking the Pulse survey of 2,950 US physicians found. “Self-tracking is already a part of the care paradigm and its prevalence is going to accelerate rapidly as digital connection, payment reform, and outcome focused delivery makes advances,” said James Avallone, Director of Physician Research at Manhattan Research. “We are seeing physician attitudes toward self-tracking aligning with policy, which is encouraging for all stakeholders involved.”

Stonefly Communications Group founder and ex-CEO John Racik has died at 52 following a long battle with cancer. Racik, who took over BlueDiesel in 2002 before forming Stonefly, was "one of the sharpest strategic minds in our business," said Joe Daily, president of GSW, which merged with BlueDiesel earlier this year. "He had remarkable drive and uncompromising expectations for everything he touched, which led to countless relationships in the business and success for the agency. The only thing bigger than John's personality was the passion he had for our clients' success." He is survived by his wife and two children. 

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