The big drugmaker is dramatically stepping up sales efforts in emerging markets, overhauling US business operations and slashing more costs ahead of the 2011 patent loss for cholesterol blockbuster Lipitor, theAssociated Press informs us.
Ian Read, speaking at the 2008 UBS Global Life Sciences conference in New York, told analysts and investors Pfizer has reduced annual costs by $1.2 billion from 2006 levels and expects to meet its goal of cutting a total of $2 billion by year's end. But most of the remaining reductions will occur in the fourth quarter, possibly signaling more job cuts.
Pfizer hopes to generate another $3 billion in revenue by 2012 just from meds losing patent protection. How? Create new doses, tweak existing products and enter niche markets. For instance, Pfizer plans to seek approval for new uses for several drugs, including Celebrex and try to milk Lipitor sales in other countries. Same goes for Chantix, which will be launched in nine countries in the next nine months, including three with lots of smokers: Russia, China and Turkey.
Pfizer also is trying to boost sales of the Lyrica med for nerve pain, which is approved for fibromyalgia, with an ad campaign targeting patients. The affliction causes aches and stiffness in muscles and tendons, but some docs dismiss it as a phony condition, so marketing efforts aim to "legitimize fibromyalgia as a disease."
Another focus will be greatly increasing sales forces in emerging markets, particularly seven with the largest projected sales growth: Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia, South Korea and Turkey.
In the US, Pfizer will switch from having a sales force pitching individual drugs to doctors to having salespeople discuss a variety of Pfizer brands of according to each doctor's needs. The company also is creating regional business units, with a pilot program in five states
Source: Associated Press