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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Valeant Looks to Revive Xifaxan with "Bubble Guts the Sales Rep." Will It Work?

Valeant Looks to Revive Xifaxan with "Bubble Guts the Sales Rep." Will It Work? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Now that Valeant’s $10 billion talks to sell its Salix unit to Takeda have reportedly fallen through, the company is taking matters into its own hands with a “significant” GI sales force expansion. But whether that expansion can help get its lagging meds going remains to be seen.

 

The plan? Rev up growth in the underperforming GI business by adding reps who will focus on potential primary care physician prescribers of IBS-D med Xifaxan and oral opioid-induced constipation med Relistor, Valeant said this week. The way the company sees it, it can reach “a significant majority” of likely Xifaxan and oral Relistor PCPs with the effort, which it will roll out “over the coming weeks.”

 

As with many key Valeant products, wannabe blockbuster Xifaxan has been struggling lately (read “Xifaxan Sales Down - Will $9.8 M Super Bowl Ad Redeem ‘Bubble Guts’?”; http://sco.lt/5WS4sz). In building a primary care sales force, “our goal ... is to maximize opportunities for Xifaxan and Relistor to help our products reach full potential,” CEO Joseph Papa said in a statement.

 

It’s a new tack for Valeant, which was just about ready to let those moneymakers change hands until price squabbles scuttled a potential deal with Takeda, which has tried multiple times to acquire them. Now, Valeant CEO Papa is calling the GI franchise a “core asset for future growth”—meaning it may no longer be part of the group of businesses Valeant’s willing to divest in order to pay down its debt load.

 

Meanwhile, though, Papa has blamed sales force woes for triggering Xifaxan’s poor performance to begin with. In June, the new skipper attributed the product’s slump to “sales force disruption” over the past 12 months (read “Valeant CEO Blames Salesforce, Not Shitty Ads, for Disappointing Xifaxan Sales”; http://sco.lt/78DCEL).

Pharma Guy's insight:

Related Story: “Two DTC Ad Mascots Make it to the Super Bowl. Both are Losers!”; http://sco.lt/8RgBE1

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Xifaxan Sales Down - Will $9.8 M Super Bowl Ad Redeem "Bubble Guts"?

Xifaxan Sales Down - Will $9.8 M Super Bowl Ad Redeem "Bubble Guts"? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Valeant missed the sales mark for its irritable bowel syndrome drug, Xifaxan, which it called one of the company's “leading growth platforms,” when it reported its long-awaited fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday.

Xifaxan saw sales of $210 million for the last three months of 2015, down from $220 million in the previous quarter. In December of last 2015, the company forecast sales of $390 million for Xifaxan in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to Business Insider.

Valeant's business model and pricing practices have been under scrutiny in recent months. 

The drugmaker ran a Xifaxan ad in the most recent Super Bowl broadcast, one of three pharma spots featuring during the February event.  The drugmaker spent $9.8 million for the 60-second spot, according to estimates from iSpot.tv. The ad features an animated intestine who scrambles to the bathroom during a bout of abdominal pain.

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Valeant CEO Blames Salesforce, Not Shitty Ads, for Disappointing Xifaxan Sales

Valeant CEO Blames Salesforce, Not Shitty Ads, for Disappointing Xifaxan Sales | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Valeant said its flagship brand, Xifaxan, is underperforming.

 

During a call with investors, Joseph Papa, Valeant's newly appointed CEO, attributed less-than-stellar sales of its best-selling brand to “significant sales turnover.”

 

Xifaxan brought in sales of $208 million in the first three months of 2016, a modest decrease compared to the $210 million in sales the drug generated in the fourth quarter of 2015.

 

Valeant spent an estimated $9.8 million to promote Xifaxan in the Super Bowl. It was one of three pharmaceutical ads featured in the 2016 Super Bowl.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Read: Xifaxan Sales Down - Will $9.8 M Super Bowl Ad Redeem "Bubble Guy"? http://sco.lt/5WS4sz 

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