Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Diabetes Reality Show is in Reality a Vehicle for Proselytizing a Self-help Scam, a Last-Ditch Marketing Gambit, and an Running Ad for a Luxury Resort

Diabetes Reality Show is in Reality a Vehicle for Proselytizing a Self-help Scam, a Last-Ditch Marketing Gambit, and an Running Ad for a Luxury Resort | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The man who boasts of changing the face of diabetes spreads his arms out wide, like the Christ the Redeemer statue, but in neon orange shorts and bare feet. He looks earnestly into the rolling camera.

“Welcome to ‘Reversed,’” he intones. Seated behind him are four of his disciples: Americans with type 2 diabetes who’ve flown to this tropical beach town to participate in a reality TV show marketed as a momentous opportunity to restore their health. Over eight days, they’ll learn to exercise and eat right and bare their struggles in cathartic therapy sessions.

Their host, Charles Mattocks, is a smooth-talking, fast-moving entrepreneur, who has leveraged his family fame (his uncle was Bob Marley) and his own medical history (he uses diet and exercise, not insulin, to manage his diabetes) to set himself up as a guru to diabetics everywhere.

In an age where nearly 1 in 10 Americans has diabetes, a disease that can bring a lifetime of painful complications, patients are often desperate for miraculous turnarounds — and there’s a booming trade in supplements, diets, and self-help books that promise answers. Now, there’s a TV show, too.

But “Reversed” is unlikely to prove anyone’s salvation.

The show, which will begin airing next month on cable, is at once a vehicle for Mattocks to proselytize his gospel of self-help, a marketing gambit by a pharma company that’s running out of money, and a season-long advertisement for a luxury getaway at the sparkling resort where it was filmed.

 

Further Reading:

  • “Don't Have Much of a Marketing Budget? Mannkind Sponsors Diabetes Reality TV Show in Jamaica”; http://sco.lt/8UmbOz
  • “Merely a Flesh Wound! MannKind Swears Afrezza Not Dead”; http://sco.lt/7lCKOX 
  • “Sanofi's DTC ROI for Afrezza: Lost 53 Cents for Every $1 Spent!”; http://sco.lt/7Tz9eL 
  • “#Pharma Disease Awareness Marketing Infiltrates Soap Operas Like General Hospital”; http://sco.lt/88Gkwz 
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Merely a Flesh Wound! MannKind Swears Afrezza Not Dead

Merely a Flesh Wound! MannKind Swears Afrezza Not Dead | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

On Tuesday, MannKind announced that Sanofi had terminated the pair's commercialization deal, which will officially cease no later than July 4. As Sanofi told Bloomberg in a statement, "the product never met even modest expectations, and we do not project Afrezza reaching even the lowest patient levels anticipated."


So what's next for the California company? According to TheStreet, "MannKind is as close to financial insolvency as it can possibly be without actually declaring bankruptcy," and its shares plunged on the Sanofi news. But the company isn't giving up. As CFO Matthew Pfeffer said on a call with investors, "this is not the end of the line for Afrezza or MannKind by any means."


The one thing that doesn't need to change, according to Pfeffer? "The real world experience of Afrezza users, which is everything we hoped it would be."


Pharma Guy's insight:

Here's a billion dollar idea for MannKind: develop a version for delivery of "medical" marijuana and then lobby in support of the legalization of marijuana! Now that would make us old folks invest in your company and boost your stock price!

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Sales of Afrezza Inhaled Insulin Stymied by FDA Says Sanofi

Sales of Afrezza Inhaled Insulin Stymied by FDA Says Sanofi | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The launch of MannKind's inhaled insulin Afrezza fell far short of expectations, bringing in about $1.1 million in its first seven weeks on the market, despite analyst predictions of a blockbuster.


Sanofi, MannKind's commercial partner for the drug, attributed the lower-than-expected sales to the FDA's requirement that patients undergo lung tests before starting treatment and while using the therapy as well as the broader need to raise awareness about the product. The drugmaker plans to launch a DTC campaign this summer. “It will take time for Afrezza to demonstrate its potential,” a Sanofi spokeswoman said,


But experts say the increasingly competitive nature of the US insulin market, especially when it relates to pricing, and the trend toward more stringent insurance reimbursement may have more to do with the slow adoption of Afrezza than a lack of awareness among diabetes patients and endocrinologists.

Pharma Guy's insight:

UPDATE (1/5/2016): Sanofi terminated its license agreement related to the development and commercialisation of MannKind's inhaled insulin therapy Afrezza, MannKind said today (here). MannKind noted that the deal will be terminated no later than six months from the effective date of Sanofi's notice or July 4. MannKind added that it "is reviewing its strategic options for Afrezza as a result of the termination."

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Don't Have Much of a Marketing Budget? Mannkind Sponsors Diabetes Reality TV Show in Jamaica

Don't Have Much of a Marketing Budget? Mannkind Sponsors Diabetes Reality TV Show in Jamaica | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The man who boasts of changing the face of diabetes spreads his arms out wide, like the Christ the Redeemer statue, but in neon orange shorts and bare feet. He looks earnestly into the rolling camera.

 

“Welcome to ‘Reversed,’” he intones. Seated behind him are four of his disciples: Americans with type 2 diabetes who’ve flown to this tropical beach town to participate in a reality TV show marketed as a momentous opportunity to restore their health. Over eight days, they’ll learn to exercise and eat right and bare their struggles in cathartic therapy sessions.

 

Their host, Charles Mattocks, is a smooth-talking, fast-moving entrepreneur, who has leveraged his family fame (his uncle was Bob Marley) and his own medical history (he uses diet and exercise, not insulin, to manage his diabetes) to set himself up as a guru to diabetics everywhere.

 

In an age where nearly 1 in 10 Americans has diabetes, a disease that can bring a lifetime of painful complications, patients are often desperate for miraculous turnarounds — and there’s a booming trade in supplements, diets, and self-help books that promise answers. Now, there’s a TV show, too.

 

The debut 10-episode season airs this summer on Discovery Life, a cable channel that specializes in medical programming starring real people, like “The Boy With No Brain” and “Untold Stories of the ER.” Last year it drew an average of 88,000 viewers a night during prime time, according to Valeria Almada, a spokeswoman for the channel. That ranks around 97th among networks, by one recent estimate of viewership.

 

The show’s primary sponsor is MannKind, an insulin manufacturer that’s in bad financial shape. Neither the show nor the company would say how much the sponsorship cost, but MannKind will get advertising spots for its struggling insulin inhaler, Afrezza, during commercial breaks and perhaps a brief mention of the product on the show itself.

 

The drug manufacturer MannKind has been burning through millions of dollars each month. It only has 3,000 patients taking its sole product, an inhalable form of insulin. It recently said it doesn’t have enough cash to get to the end of this year.

 

So why, then, is the company sponsoring a reality TV show filmed here in this tropical resort town?

 

“We don’t have a ton of cash. As a small company who’s building, you gotta think differently and you gotta be more creative,” said Michael Castagna, who was promoted last week to CEO of MannKind. He won’t give specific numbers but said he’s spending less than the annual cost of keeping a typical employee on staff to sponsor the TV show. It’s a lot less, he said, than other companies spend to snag air time on, say, Monday Night Football or the evening news. And he’s hoping to target a very specific audience: people with diabetes — who are, after all, likely to be in the market for insulin.

 

Further Reading:

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Sanofi's DTC ROI for Afrezza: Lost 53 Cents for Every $1 Spent!

Sanofi's DTC ROI for Afrezza: Lost 53 Cents for Every $1 Spent! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it
Sanofi spent $3.75 million on advertising for Afrezza in the third quarter of 2015 yet the therapy only brought in about $2 million in revenue.


Sanofi in April will stop marketing Afrezza, MannKind's inhaled insulin, citing the low number of prescriptions even though the drugmaker made what it described as a “substantial” investment in sales and marketing, including the launch of the “Surprise, it's insulin” campaign in mid-2015.

Pharma Guy's insight:

The last time DTC ad ROI was in negative territory was when Abe Lincoln was sleep-deprived "president" in Rozerem sleep-aid ads. Takeda spent more on ads than the drug made back in sales: between January and September 2006, Rozerem earned $48.7 million in estimated wholesale revenue, according to IMS Health (that number does not include prescriptions handled by mail). But the company spent nearly $100 million on ads, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. More about that here: http://bit.ly/lincolnshotdead 

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