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PARKE-DAVIS EXPANDING SALES FORCE TO OVER 1,100 REPS BY MID-1989, WARNER-LAMBERT TELLS ANALYSTS; CARDIOVASCULAR, MANAGED CARE GROUPS BEING FORMED

Executive Summary

Warner-Lambert will increase the size of its Parke-Davis detail force 20% by mid-1989, from the current 940 reps to approximately 1,120, the company reported at a Sept. 27 analyst meeting sponsored by the Bear Stearns investment firm. "This significant increase in Parke-Davis marketing strength nationwide will substantially improve our ability to successfully represent our products in emerging medical fields, as well as in therapeutic areas of special interest," Parke-Davis Group President Sam Maugeri said. "Additionally, it will contribute significantly to Parke-Davis' ability to continue to compete vigorously in the increasingly competitive U.S. pharmaceutical market." Concurrent with the expansion, the company is establishing two new marketing sub-groups -- one for cardiovascular sales, the other a managed care and state government affairs unit -- and increasing its obstetrics/gynecology sales staff. The creation of a specialized cardiovascular detail force coincides with the anticipated approval of expanded labeling for Lopid (gemfibrozil). FDA's Endocrinologic & Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee is scheduled to review the antihyperlipidemic agent for the prevention of coronary heart disease on Oct. 17. When approved, the new indication will likely increase Lopid sales well beyond the current $ 100 mil. annual level. A dedicated and expanded sales force will also allow Warner-Lambert broader coverage of the U.S. cardiovascular market during the three years of additional patent life provided to Lopid under the recently enacted trade bill. Another Parke-Davis product that will receive high priority is Cholybar, a patented confectionary formulation of the cholesterol-lowering agent cholestyramine. By increasing the marketing emphasis on Lopid and Cholybar through a specialized sales force, Parke-Davis is also attempting to shore up its competitive position against Merck and its successful cholesterol-lowering drug Mevacor (lovastatin). Launched in September 1987, Mevacor is promoted by Merck's cardiovascular sales force. In addition, Squibb has just filed an NDA for pravastatin, which, like the Merck product, is a HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor. Maugeri noted that the obstetrics/gynecology sales group, formed earlier this year, is composed entirely of registered nurses. "When fully implemented, this specialized sales force will help meet the needs of obstetricians and gynecologists for service and information about contraceptive products such as our low-dose product Loestrin," he remarked. "Early reports from around the country concerning the effectiveness of the all-nurse staff have been outstanding." Warner-Lambert is following the example of Sandoz and, more recently Squibb, in establishing a separate marketing unit in response to the growth of managed health care in the U.S. The new managed care/government affairs group, Maugeri said, "will promote Parke-Davis products in the quickly growing health care sector comprising HMOs, PPOs and large buying groups for hospitals and pharmacies." The group will also include individuals to work with state government agencies that develop and manage drug formularies for Medicaid patients. In a separate but related move announced Sept. 29, Warner-Lambert will centralize its marketing services operation from three facilities into one located in southwest Virginia. The company said the consolidation is intended to meet the demands of a larger sales force and new sampling restrictions under the recently-passed Dingell Act.
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