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Pfizer reveals lessons learned and future directions

President of Pfizer's worldwide pharmaceutical operations discusses new strategies to fight off generic price erosion of its top-selling drugs

President of Pfizer's worldwide pharmaceutical operations, Ian Read, has used the highly successful results of its anti-smoking product, Champix, to help inform new strategies to fight off generic price erosion of its top-selling drug Lipitor (atorvastatin) and disappointing sales for its inhaleable insulin product, Exubera.

Read said: "This is probably one of the most turbulent times I've seen, with the most change occurring in the marketplace. We're very well aware that we have to get a lot of things right."

In order to maximise Lipitor's value, Pfizer has launched a campaign to identify new efficacy data on Lipitor. Read used a new data analysis comparing Lipitor with generic versions of Merck & Co's competing drug Zocor (simvastatin).

The company said switching patients from Lipitor to generic Zocor was associated with a 30 per cent increase in the risk of heart attacks, strokes or death, compared with patients who remained on Lipitor. PMLive reported on the results here.

Smoking-cessation treatment Chantix is the fastest launch in Pfizer's history, Read explained. The product, which reached the market in August 2006, racked up USD 200m in sales in Q2 FY06.

Read revealed that Pfizer will launch a direct-to-consumer campaign in the US on 24 September. The company is looking for marketing approval for the drug in China, which has over 300 million smokers.

30th September 2008

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