Thursday, May 29, 2008

Vytoringate keeps hurting Vytorin sales

Vytoringae keeps punishing... Schering-Plough's SEC filing shows a continuing drop of Vytorin prescriptions. No bottom in sight.

Based on our health care market research via online physician surveys of cardiologists, internists and GPs who prescribe cholesterol drugs, we predict at least a 50% drop in Vytorin/ Zetia sales. Our recent physician survey in April-May 2008 shows that 50% of doctors have stopped prescribing Vytorin or have reduced prescriptions. This, despite the fact that most doctors thought Vytorin is effective and would prescribe it for themselves and family members. How ironic, good will squandered by pharma missteps.

Click here to view this survey for details.

Our surveys also reveal that the reason doctors are reducing Vytorin prescriptions is related to poor communications with Merck and Schering-Plough, and negative media reports which have a growing influence on doctors’ prescribing decisions in the absence of good communications between doctors and the pharmaceutical companies.

For an in depth analysis of our survey results see Vytoringate: A Failure to Communicate with Doctors. We even suggest a way for pharma to stop it's self inflicted slippery slope and restore trust.

As we previously mentioned, John McCain joined this controversy (see Wall Street Journal Blog). Senator McCain’s physicians seem to also have made their treatment decisions based on the same influences that affected doctors in our survey.

As long as medical companies fail to communicate with their most important customers— physicians—the media and other external forces will have increasing control over prescription sales and pharmaceutical company profits.

Robert Cykiert, M.D.