Pfizer, Wyeth deal will keep Premarin market going

Though Pfizer is not new to mega deals, Kindler was dubious of such mega mergers till last year. He preferred only bolt-on or product acquisitions to major acquisitions. However, the craving for new sources of revenue and the inability of the company’s near-term pipeline to make up the slack when its blockbusters lose patent exclusivity made Kindler adopt the mega-merger strategy this year and acquire Wyeth.

Wyeth has a promising pipeline as well as a number of blockbusters in its arsenal, including rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel, jointly marketed with Amgen (AMGN | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating), pneumonia vaccine Prevnar, antidepressant Effexor, nutritional products, intravenous antibiotic Zosyn and the hormone replacement therapy Premarin family of drugs. Enbrel topped $3 billion in total sales, Effexor raked in worldwide revenue of $3.93 billion, while Prevnar notched up sales of $2.72 billion in 2008.

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The report also finds that more than half of surveyed managed care organizations’ (MCOs) pharmacy directors expect to place Prolia, Aprela and Viviant on tier 3 or higher in their commercial and Medicare plan formularies. All surveyed MCOs expect to include Prolia and Aprela in their formularies, while ninety percent of surveyed MCOs indicate they will include Viviant in their formularies.

Clinicians say they expect to prescribe two emerging therapies from this drug class — Pfizer’s Viviant and Pfizer/Ligand Pharmaceuticals’ Aprela — to fewer patients with osteoporosis or osteopenia than the existing agent in this drug class, Eli Lilly’s Evista.

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This is bad, bad news for the pregnant mares who are milked for their urine for the production of conjugated equine estrogen, the basis for Aprela. Tragic news for the foals of these pregnant mares who are cast off by the industry and die by the thousands.

Aprela is a very close cousin of Premarin, a hormone replacement therapy drug prescribed to treat the symptoms of menopause. Premarin just so happens to have osteoporosis treatment properties too.

Aprela looks little more than Premarin dressed up as an osteoporosis drug that will help with hot flashes to us. Reports are Aprela will be marketed to men and women.

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