Pharma cos.' promotions up 14% in 2001

June 1, 2002
Pharmaceutical Representative

Pharmaceutical company detailing to physicians increased 14% in 2001, due largely to new product introductions, according to Health Products Research.

Pharmaceutical company detailing to physicians increased 14% in 2001, due largely to new product introductions, according to Health Products Research Inc., a division of Somerset, NJ-based Ventiv Health Inc. The company estimates that pharmaceutical companies spent $8 billion supporting sales force marketing activities during 2001.

There were 25 new product launches in 2001 that generated between 50,000 and 1 million details. Selected serotonin reuptake inhibitors, statins and COX-2 inhibitors received the greatest amount of field force attention, as these three classes alone accounted for nearly 20% of all pharmaceutical company promotion to physicians for the year. Oral antihistamines and proton pump inhibitors rounded out the top five therapeutic classes promoted to physicians in the United States.

The COX-2 inhibitor Celebrex™ (celecoxib), co-promoted by New York-based Pfizer Inc. and Peapack, NJ-based Pharmacia Corp., remained the top product promoted to physicians in 2001, with over 2.4 million details, followed by Whitehouse Station, NJ-based Merck & Co. Inc.'s Vioxx® (rofecoxib tablets), which generated 2.1 million details for the year.

Most details by company

Pfizer (12%), Research Triangle Park, NC-based GlaxoSmithKline (10%) and Merck (7%) topped all companies in terms of number of sales calls made to physicians, according to the report. AstraZeneca LP, Wilmington, DE, moved to the fourth position in 2001 (up from number seven in 2000), driven by Nexium® (esomeprazole magnesium) and increased support for Pulmicort Respules® (budesonide inhalation suspension), while Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., New York, moved down three spots to number seven. East Hanover, NJ-based Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. broke into the top ten at number eight with increased support for its antihypertensive Diovan® (valsartan), as well as the launches of Starlix® (nateglinide) and Foradil® Aerolizer (formoterol fumerate inhalation powder). Pharmacia came in ninth and benefited from increased support of Celebrex, Activella™ (estradiol/norethindrone acetate tablets) and Lunelle™ (medroxyprogesterone acetate and estradiol cypionate injectable suspension), and the launch of Detrol LA® (tolterodine tartrate extended-release capsules).

Other companies in the top ten included:

• Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (fifth), which increased support of its atypical antipsychotic, Zyprexa® (olanzapine), with the introduction of Zyprexa Zydis® (olanzapine orally disintegrating tablets) and Zyprexa® IM (olanzapine), as well as the launch of Prozac Weekly® (fluoxetine) and support for Humalog® 75/25 (75% human insulin isophane suspension, 25% human insulin injection [rDNA injection]).

• Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories (sixth), Madison, NJ, which benefited from increased support for the ACE inhibitor Altace® (ramipril), co-promoted with Monarch Pharmaceuticals, a division of Bristol, TN-based King Pharmaceuticals Inc., in addition to increased support for Effexor® (venlafaxine).

• Bridgewater, NJ-based Aventis Pharma AG, which strongly supported its Allegra® (fexofenadine) line of antihistamines, Lovenox® Injection (enoxaparin sodium), Nasacort® AQ Nasal Spray (triamcinolone acetonide) and the introduction of Lantus® (insulin glargine rDNA origin).

The top 10 companies accounted for 60% of calls made to physicians in 2001. PR