I have been in BP sales and marketing almost a quarter of a century, including sales, marketing, Rx Analysis, focus group mediation, participated in co- marketing and co- licensing arrangements, and I have carried a bag into 1000's of offices over the years. I have been a part of at least 10 launch tesms. Nothing fires up a sales force more at launch than the VP sales showing comments to the field about what analysts post, (except maybe a new jeep and a big potentijal bonus). ...This is especially true if the analysts predict a flop. The sales force management wants the field to prove the pessimists wrong. This is added motivation for the sales team, on top of the compelling evidence that shows Belviq the better drug. Also the market will grow tremendously with two different companies sales forces pressing the burden of the obesity problem. Qsymia is helping us grow that market, and we will steal their market share in a growing market. Go ahead shorts, call me names.
The rule of 20/80 applies to established drugs, (it's actuall more like 30/70 but I won't split hairs). New drugs in new classes are a little different, customers in general can be defined as innovators, early adopters, majority, late majority and laggards. For every one Rx that an innovaor prescribes, there is an average of 17 scripts that follow. The key is to identify the right doctors early and focusing efforts in the first 6-9 months. I trust we have had enough time to identify who these customers are and can track initial Rx's.
The launch plan looks solide, although I would probably increase the number of peer to peer Medical Educatiom Programs on obesity with specialists that have phase III experience. I do want to say that Belviq works....I have just lost 5lbs alone in the last week watching the rodeo. And no that is not quite 5lbs of money.
The market is there, just go to DISNEY and see the overweight young families that ride scooters meant for the frail elderly.....
I may be telling you guys what you already know and if this is redundant then please advise me and disregard. To get a good idea as to how well Belviq can do in the first 18 months, it is relevant to review the market penetration and growth of other single agent first in class launches, (Pravachol, Imitrex, Proscar, Singulair, etc.) Our analysts always used models of previous drugs in similiar market conditionse to generate 6, 9, 12 and 18 month expectation milestones. These are reviewed monthly using various regression techniques and the convergence becomes the new Estimated Actual. The assumptions play a huge role during any drug launch sales projections. Assumptions include access, potential market size, competition etc. New Markets like Obesity are very fun to project. Also, as I stated before, the innovator group of doctors that have been identified account for only about 2-3 percent of all physicians but account for enormous script volumes in the first 18 months. Multiply the 18 month sales volumes at by a factor of 15-20 and you have a rule of thumb projection of what the peak yearly sales can be. I would do all that, but I am going for a bike ride at the moment. Some of the people on this board are very analytical and may be of help with this.