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Pfizer turns to mobile recipe app as Lipitor sales sink

Mobile iPhone, iPad and Android app includes a loyalty card for the pharma company's cholesterol drug

Pfizer Apple iPhone iPad healthy eating app

Pfizer is hoping a mobile app is the missing ingredient in its bid to slow the rate at which its blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor haemorrhages sales.

The drug went off-patent in the US in November and revenues have subsequently, as expected, experienced a steep fall.

The pharma company has already put a series of measures in place to trade on the product's brand equity, from pharmacy discounting deals to setting up its own mail-order service, and these are now joined by a new app.

The Recipes 2 Go app can be used with iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices and offers a series of healthy recipes, a shopping list feature and tips on portion sizes and exercise.

It also joins up with the company's co-payment card for Liptior, allowing users to input their ID number from the programme and have their card details easily available when refilling their prescription for the drug.

The pharma company teamed up with EatingWell, a healthy-eating consumer magazine, to develop the free app and an accompanying website - lipitorsmartliving.com.

Greg Reeder, senior director, team leader, US Brands, Established Products Business Unit at Pfizer, said: "Taking a cholesterol-lowering medication like Lipitor is just part of the equation for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

"The healthy recipes from our partnership with EatingWell gives Pfizer another innovative way to educate patients on the importance of managing cholesterol."

The Recipes 2 Go app also marks the first time Pfizer has supported a prescription product in the US with a consumer mobile app, where its efforts to date have covered smoking cessation, cold and flu information and entertaining babies and young children.

However, Lipitor may not remain a prescription-only product for long. In November Pfizer's CEO Ian Read told a conference call: “There is an intent at some point to have an OTC version of Lipitor in the marketplace.”

At its peak the cholesterol drug was the world's biggest selling-medicine, and responsible for a quarter of Pfizer's sales, but cheaper generic versions of Lipitor have already taken their toll on revenues.

This year the product's Q1 sales, the first full quarter since Lipitor lost US patent protection, fell to $383m, down a huge 71 per cent from the $1.3bn the brand brought in for the first quarter of 2011.

23rd May 2012

From: Marketing

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