Apr 11, 2010

Increase in generics, Decrease in Big Pharma Reps

The almost concurrent newswires underscore the continuing shift in branded Rx and promotional channels.

A recent IMS 2009 Rx report points out that now 75% of all U.S. prescriptions are generics, up from 54% in 2004.

While shortly thereafter, both sanofi-aventis and Abbott have laid off hundreds of U.S. Sales reps.

IMS's Murray Aitken, SVP healthcare insight, inoted that “While the 32 innovative products launched last year brought important new treatment options to patients in a number of disease areas, including cancer, thrombosis and atrial fibrillation, they drove only a limited increase in drug spending."

As generics become more prevalent in chronic diseases, and newer branded launches are in specialty areas, there may be a decreased volume of sales representatives required to call on primary care physicians. Furthermore, those sales reps that remain must present a meaningful value proposition to healthcare professions.