Thursday, May 17, 2007
End of the "evergreening" trend?
The WSJ Health Blog has an interesting post today regarding how Sanofi's efforts to switch people from the now generic Ambien to the more expensive Ambien CR are faltering. A few weeks earlier, there were reports regarding the lackluster Q1 sales of JNJ's Invega.
Looks like aggressive managed care/PBM efforts are beginning to see some success in getting customers to switch to/stay on cheaper generics when the brand extensions are of marginal/questionable benefits. Besides managed care, media & bloggers like Dr. Howard Brody are actively questioning such tactics (see interesting post from Dr. Brody's blog here). Per Pharmalyst's recollection, the last really successful evergreening effort was the Prilosec to Nexium switcheroo by Astra Zeneca.
Perhaps the new evergreening model is in the form of combination molecules (Vytorin, Caduet etc). How long before managed care "manages" this? Also Pharmalyst expects more generic mfrs to launch combination generic molecules.