Pfizer told investors at its first-quarter marketing call that a Xeljanz DTC marketing campaign is in the works for summer and that its promotional efforts among physicians—including 28-day sample packs and sales reps—has resulted in repeat prescriptions and pickup among post-methotrexate and anti-TNF patients. The company also said the drug has had broader reimbursement than anticipated.
Amgen reached a $25 million settlement with the U.S government for marketing practices around its anemia drug Aranesp. Allegations include kickbacks to long-term care pharmacies to favor Aranesp over other treatments as well as for off-label indications. The Department of Justice alleged that Amgen offered rebates for pharmacies which helped to improve Aranesp’s market share.
Eli Lilly and Merck will put more person-to-person sales power behind their diabetes franchises. Lilly stated its intent before releasing its first-quarter earnings report, in tandem with an announcement that it was cutting sales support for Cymbalta and Evista. Merck has decided more of its US reps need to be dedicated only to Januvia, which saw sales slide 4% during the quarter.