Noven gives Vivelle new life

September 1, 1998

Pharmaceutical Representative

Vivelle,® an estradiol transdermal patch, launched in 1996, has been given new life as a result of a new comarketing effort between Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. Inc. and Noven Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Vivelle,® an estradiol transdermal patch, launched in 1996, has been given new life as a result of a new comarketing effort between Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. Inc. and Noven Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The joint venture, which will be known as Vivelle Ventures, entrusts the promotion of Vivelle and future women's health products to 88 contract sales representatives deployed by Noven.

Miami-based Noven has always manufactured the product, but it had licensed the promotion of Vivelle to what was then Ciba-Geigy when the product launched. That relationship worked well until Ciba-Geigy merged with Sandoz to form Novartis in 1996. With all the internal products Novartis' reps were promoting, their attention drifted from Vivelle.

Under the new arrangement, Novartis will be responsible for distribution and for representing the product in managed care markets. Noven will continue to manufacture Vivelle and manage the sales and marketing of the product.

"We're a 'virtual company' in many ways, with the exception of our sales representatives," said Terry Herring, Noven's national sales director.

The company hired six full-time regional managers to supervise its new field force, which is contracted through Snyder HealthCare-MMD, New York. The reps are fully responsible for promoting the company's "small" women's health product line (at this point, Vivelle is the only product) to OB/GYNs and primary care physicians.

With time, however, Noven hopes to grow both its field force and its product line. "We're looking forward to expanding in the near future," Herring said.

What kind of culture does a "virtual" pharmaceuticals company have compared to its industry competitors? Herring said its reps won't be able to tell the difference: "Although they're not full-time employees, we treat them with the respect we would any professional salesperson." PR