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Promotion of Merck/Schering-Plough's Vytorin as a First-Line Agent has been Compromised by Negative Press

Friday, November 7, 2008 General News J E 4
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Lipitor's Abstract Tagline Fails to Resonate with Physicians, According to a New Report from Decision Resources



WALTHAM, Mass., Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that Merck/Schering-Plough's promotion of Vytorin as a first-line agent in the treatment of dyslipidemia has been compromised by negative results from two clinical trials reported in 2008, the ENHANCE and SEAS studies. According to the new report entitled Brands & Strategies: Lipid-Modifying Agents, although Merck/Schering-Plough revenue will decline because of the negative perception, the reduction in sales will be predominately US-based, and in part, will be offset by modest growth in Europe.



Although Merck/Schering-Plough has pulled its direct-to-consumer advertising for Vytorin, communication with prescribers about the products' effective LDL-C-management will be critical. Also, the results of the IMPROVE-IT outcomes data in 2012 will be pivotal as to whether the Merck/Schering-Plough franchise can rediscover previous revenue growth rates.



The report also finds that Pfizer's abstract tagline used in current journal advertisements for Lipitor, "First choice for second chances," fails to resonate with physicians. While AstraZeneca's Crestor's slogan that it "has the proven efficacy to lower LDL-C, raise HDL-C and slow the progression of atherosclerosis," was by far the most appealing to both primary care physicians (PCPs) and cardiologists.



"Surveyed physicians showed a preference for the more clinically descriptive, factual messages and Crestor's slogan clearly conveys improvements in three of the more influential end points for physicians," said Nikhil Mehta, analyst at Decision Resources. "Other messages that resonated well with both PCPs and cardiologists highlight multiple risk factor control. Brands such as Abbott's TriCor and Simcor as well as Daiichi Sankyo's Welchol focus on this message."



About Brands & Strategies

The Brands & Strategies report series from Decision Resources reveals what it takes to be successful in a pharmaceutical market. It offers the most comprehensive commercial analysis of the brands and strategies of competing companies so they can better position themselves in a market and plan future strategy based on what competitors are doing. Brands & Strategies is the first and only report series to bring together all the competitive information elements pharma companies need to make informed decisions about their brands and next-steps.



About Decision Resources

Decision Resources, Inc., (www.DecisionResources.com) is a world leader in healthcare market research publications, advisory services, and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources, and master their chosen markets.



About Decision Resources, Inc.

Decision Resources, Inc. is a cohesive portfolio of companies that offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on important sectors of the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Please visit Decision Resources, Inc. at www.DecisionResourcesInc.com.

All company, brand or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

For more information, contact: Heather Hilty Elizabeth Marshall Decision Resources Decision Resources, Inc. 781-296-2536 781-296-2563 hhilty@dresources.com emarshall@dresources.com

SOURCE Decision Resources
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