The drugmaker has ended a contract withInVentiv, one of the players in the Rent-A-Rep business, which was promoting its troubled Micardis, an angiotensin receptor blocker, otherwise known as a blood pressure med. Micardis, you may recall, failed to perform well in some key clinical trials (back stories here and here).
Ironically, about 400-plus InVentiv reps will be leaving Boehringer territories by the end of the year and - guess what? - many will soon work for a rival. That's right, InVentiv signed a deal to market Merck's Cozaar and Hyzaar, which puts Boehringer at an even greater disadvantage, since InVentiv reps will know a great deal about the competition and the docs who write the most prescriptions.
"It is typical for our business to wind down some sales teams while concurrently ramping up others. As a result of the nine new sales teams we are adding in the fourth quarter, we expect the vast majority of the representatives on the BI team will be redeployed by the beginning of 2009," InVentiv ceo Blane Walter says in a statement (link to follow shortly).
Meanwhile, Boehringer is about to proceed with previously disclosed plans to trim its neurology sales force of nearly 400 reps, who will either be reassigned to primary care sales or let go, depending upon the number of openings that exist. The shift starts early next month, sources say.