Several of you are hopeful that Al will sign a partnership agreement soon so that the partner can get ready to sell the product. My belief is that it won't take very long to get a sales force ready to sell Afrezza. The Bp(s) already have matured sales organizations who already have relationships with the doctors in their territories. My guess is that it will take about 1/2 day of training on Afrezza for these reps to start working on the docs. So the sales trainers could go from city to city training the reps and in 4-6 weeks and be done! This is not a complicated project! They do it all the time, i.e. adding new products to their bag. So the point is, Al does not need to rush into a partnership agreement for this reason. Just be patient....He knows what he's doing!
Sentiment: Strong Buy
You have probably noticed some negative talk from the group that is not in support of Alfreeza. They claim Doctors won't want to use it because it's inhaled and the Doctors don't want liability. I disagree and say the Doctors will accept Alfreeza since MNKD will be doing FDA mandated follow up tests on patients using Alfreeza to watch for lung issues. Which there are none. One of the success points not missed by the insurance companies that will signal their approval of Alfreeza to the Doctors. The insurance companies willingness to pay for the drug will be just as big of driving factor in Alfreeza's success as Doctor acceptance.
I'm a diabetic and I can tell without a doubt that I have already told, not asked my Doctor that I want to try Alfreeza just as soon as it's available. Patient awareness of Alfreeza will make is a success once patients see how good it works and how it costs less to use. I'm looking at a start price of $27 @ share next April when it's approved and a gradual move up from there.
Thanks for all your responses regarding getting a sales force prepared to market Afrezza. Lots of good points made, but I still believe that "It ain't a big deal". Any one of the BP(s) can be ready to go after this new market very quickly.....Just trust in Al!!
Sentiment: Strong Buy
While I appreciate your enthusiasm and positive attitude I must respectfully disagree on the premise that training could be accomplished in 1/2 day. There is no margin for error in launching this revolutionary product. I have 15 years of professional training experience with sales engineers. Some old habits need to be changed, some attitudes adjusted and new techniques implemented. It will take weeks, if not months to fine tune even professional sales reps. We need an elite sales force and no expense should be spared to equip them with the necessary tools to make Afrezza the top selling diabetes drug in the world.
missjessiecat, you are assuming that a BP would have hundreds of sales rep just sitting doing nothing and waiting to be assigned to Afreeza. Guess what, all the big pharma have downsized their sales orgs and many have outsourced product lines that cannot employ full time sales reps. in other words, new sales reps have to be hired. Recruiting and hiring alone will take months unless of course you just hire anyone who applies.
Missjessie having worked in this industry, nothing is done in a 1/2 day. Guaranteed 3 day minimum, if not a week. They will start at the beginning and work through history of all treatments, then on to current treatments, competitors etc. etc. etc. The label will also be discussed in depth with all complexities for use in conjunction with pumps, oral, and injected insulin. Not trying to burst your bubble, but there are NO stones in this industry left unturned. It may seem simple, but in fact this is a very complex process. I guarantee just the representative question and answer session will be 1/2 day.
Clevens, BS! I've been in sales all my life and I've been a MNKD shareholder for 9 years and I could train any salesman in a half day to make a great call on a doctor! Afrezza is a no brainer!
Sentiment: Strong Buy
One other MASSIVE point - reps need to be ready day 1 of launch. If they draw this partner thing out they risk revenues. Think about it - let's say it is approved May 1 2014, but the marketing and manufacturing is not complete because the partner process took longer than expected. Let's assume the sales forecast is $500M for the first year. That is approximately $40M per month without accounting for sales ramping up from month 1. Timing partner selection and preparation for launch to align with FDA approval is IMPORTANT!!!! Every month after that is lost dollars. They know this and the eventual BP partner knows this so they don't want to lose money either. I have confidence a partner will be selected soon (or buyout completely) and they WILL execute well and in line with FDA approval.
Agreed. I also worked in the industry, as a Product Manager and Sales rep, for one of the top 3 diabetes companies. They will have a lot of pre-work, plus a week long meeting discussing all of the above you mentioned (and role playing, objection handling etc.) This takes time to prepare. Sales reps are not the only ones trained. They would likely train a 'speakers bureau' of the top Endocrinologists across the country. These Key Opinion Leaders will also disseminate the message. Once that is done, then things can start to accelerate from day 1 of launch. The marketing communication plan kicks in - tv ads, e-mail campaigns, print ads, conferences, regional speaker meetings by Endo's). Sales reps can get around to their entire territory in about 3-4 weeks to see their top prescribing offices/docs/pharmacies. There are a myriad of things to consider for a launch of this magnitude beyond what is mentioned above. missjessiecat is right and wrong - it is not complicated per say, but the preparation and execution take A LOT longer - ideally 6-12 months. So, they need to select a partner sooner rather than later.