Alli and Byetta affecting obesity market

December 7, 2007

Rxs for Xenical down since OTC Alli released

Since the OTC version of orlistat (Alli, GlaxoSmithKline) was released in June, its sales have impacted the number of Rxs written for the prescription formulation of the drug (Xenical, Roche). According to Decision Resources, consumer access to Alli has resulted in a 44% and 54% reduction in the number of prescriptions written for Xenical by endocrinologists and primary care physicians surveyed by the firm, respectively. A market research report on obesity prepared by Decision Resources also noted that exenatide (Byetta, Lilly/Amylin), although not indicated for obesity, is rated as the most efficacious agent for weight loss according to physicians and the safest by managed care organizations. Pharmacy directors of managed care organizations estimate that as many as 15% of prescriptions written for the drug may be for obesity rather than the approved Type 2 diabetes indication. The report, entitled Obesity: New Treatments and Reimbursement Issues, is based on survey results of 20 managed care pharmacy directors, 71 endocrinologists, and 70 primary care physicians.

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