Zyban leads smoking-cessation market

January 1, 1998

Pharmaceutical Representative

Zyban, a prescription smoking-cessation product launched by Glaxo Wellcome, Research Triangle Park, NC, last June, has muscled its way in front of its prescription and over-the-counter competitors, according to new data from Newton, PA-based Scott Levin.

Zyban, a prescription smoking-cessation product launched by Glaxo Wellcome, Research Triangle Park, NC, last June, has muscled its way in front of its prescription and over-the-counter competitors, according to new data from Newton, PA-based Scott Levin.

When Glaxo Wellcome launched Zyban six months ago, the brand quickly captured 41% of the 57,000 new prescriptions dispensed for smoking deterrents in July. Novartis' Habitrol, the former market leader, cornered 37% of new prescriptions that month. In the month prior to the launch, Habitrol enjoyed a 60% market share, according to Scott-Levin's Source Prescription Audit.

Much of Zyban's initial advantage was perhaps due to aggressive marketing. During the quarter ending July 1997, Zyban accounted for 88% of the 78,000 details promoting smoking-cessation products to primary care doctors. Pulmonary disease specialists, the next largest group called upon, received 5% of the details.

A receptive managed care environment may have also aided Zyban's success. In July, third-party plans reimbursed for more than 52% of all smoking-cessation prescriptions. According to Scott-Levin's Spring 1997 Managed Care Formulary Drug Audit, 25% of panelists had at least one smoking-deterrent on formulary. Only 5% of panelists required that physicians obtain prior authorization before prescribing a smoking deterrent.

For the 12-month period ending July 1997, the market for smoking-cessation products was valued at 73% lower than the previous year at $70 million. The switches of Nicoderm and Nicorette from prescription to over-the-counter products prompted another 66% decline in July. PR

Related Content:

News