Amarin, an Irish-American biopharmaceutical company, revealed last week that the company is going to downsize its sales representatives by more than 50%, owing to the new marketing strategy introduced for its VASCEPA drug in the U.S.
The biopharma is adopting digital marketing approach for the marketing of its drug, due to which it is planning to whittle down from 750 to mere 300 representatives.
President and CEO of Amarin, Karim Mikhail, mentioned that the step has been taken to magnify the scope of the influence of VASCEPA/VAZKEPA (icosapent ethyl) digitally, in U.S., especially amid pandemic, when physicians are preferring to adopt virtual means to interact with the patients.
The peril of deaths due to cardiovascular disease persists as a leading cause around the globe. Around 859,000 deaths are recorded per year, in the U.S. alone, due to the aforementioned cause. There are 605,000 new cases and 200,000 recurrent cardiac attacks reported annually in U.S., whereas, the rate of stroke is around one in 40 seconds. Roughly, more than 2.4 million cases of destructive heart-related events occur in a year.
This new digital approach will target many more Statin prescribers (around 700,000) than with the previously adopted conventional approach, through the use of high-frequency, customized yet effectual information in the interests of the drug regarding cardiovascular risk mitigation.
To the patients in dire need of immediate medication for CV disease, this approach will make them access the drug more conveniently and promptly, preventing any improper generic substitution for this indication.
Due to its cost-effectiveness, several huge commercial and Medicare Part D payers are covering this as an absolute icosapent ethyl (IPE) drug. Currently, VASCEPA is the only FDA approved IPE therapy for cardiovascular risk mitigation.
The drug was launched in U.S. in January, 2020, and since then, it has been prescribed for more than 10 million times and covered by all major medical insurance plans. Besides United States, the drug is being sold in Lebanon, UAE and Canada. It has also won market authorization in Europe, as VAZKEPA, in March and will also be commercially launched in Germany soon.