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Posts Tagged ‘pharma’

In the Wall Street Journal (4/16) Health Blog, Jonathan D. Rockoff wrote that a new study from ZS Associates, a marketing consultant firm, found that pharmaceutical “reps don’t get in the door to see a doctor on 13 percent of their visits.” Jaideep Bajaj, managing director of sales and marketing consultants ZS Associates, said that the “18 million wasted sales calls each year suggest the extent of a physician backlash against pharma’s marketing push.” Two-billion dollars a year in salaries and expenses represent the cost of the wasted calls to pharmaceutical companies. The Health Blog added that “ZS Associates hasn’t been tracking the success rate for rep visits for very long but it’s clear that doctor access is getting squeezed for the” pharmaceutical-company “detailers.” Pharmaceutical companies, “most recently Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer before that, have reacted by slashing the number of sales reps.”

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The Wall Street Journal (1/2, Favole, Dooren) reports that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “approved more new drugs in 2008 than in any of the prior three years, a consolation of sorts to an industry struggling with greater scrutiny, thousands of layoffs, and thinning drug pipelines.” Specifically, the agency “approved 24 first-of-a-kind drugs in 2008, compared with 18 in 2007, 22 in 2006, and 20 in 2005.” In addition, FDA officials “approved dozens of other applications for new formulations or new uses of existing drugs.” But “few of the drugs approved in 2008 are likely to be blockbusters.” And, while the “pharmaceutical industry welcomes the approvals, industry analysts say 2008 will be remembered more for delays in the approval process.” The “agency missed its deadlines on 32 out of 159 drug applications through Oct. 31,” however, that may change because “legislation passed last year gave the FDA more money to hire additional drug reviewers along with other kinds of employees.” Yet, the legislation “also imposed new requirements on the agency that are now being implemented and are temporarily contributing to the slowdown in drug-approval times.”

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