On a conference call to review Pfizer Inc.'s fourth-quarter results, analysts asked Geno Germano, president of the drugmaker's global sales of new medicines, about disappointing early sales for Eliquis. It's part of a new generation of clot-preventing drugs seen as eventual multi-billion-dollar sellers. They're meant to cut risk of heart attack and stroke — and touted as safer and easier to use than the longtime, much cheaper standard treatment, warfarin. Eliquis was launched last January, and while many analysts saw it as more effective than two rival drugs launched a couple of years earlier, it's off to a surprisingly slow start.
Question: What can you say about your marketing effort and whether you're finding ways to promote Eliquis over (rival drugs) Xarelto and Pradaxa?
Answer: What we're doing with that that's really helping us in a competitive field is taking (research data) to the clinicians that can understand and appreciate the data the best, and that's the specialists, the cardiologists. We've increased substantially our medical education, our focus on the cardiologists, and as a result, we've seen a nice response. ... Where the patient is getting a new brand, ... among cardiologists we're at about 30 percent (of prescriptions), and we've surpassed Pradaxa and we're growing at a more rapid rate than Xarelto.