Lipitor: How Far Should Pfizer Push The Pill?

            
 
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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG140
Case Length : 27 Pages
Period : 1995-2006
Organization : Pfizer Inc.
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : USA, Europe
Industry : Pharmaceuticals

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More Problems for Lipitor

Zocor and Pravachol Go Off-patent

As of end 2005, the statin market was looking good. According to IMS MIDAS Quantum, the class of 'cholesterol and triglyceride reducers' was the biggest therapy class of 2005, with an estimated global sales of US$ 32.6 billion and growth of seven percent (Refer to Exhibit VIII for the top ten therapy classes in 2005).

The major brands competing in the market were Lipitor, Zocor, Vytorin, Crestor and Zetia (Refer Figure III for the four leading statins of 2005 by revenue).

All the other brands were trying to nip at the market share of the leader Lipitor. However, the market would face significant changes as two major brands, Pravachol and more importantly Zocor, were to go off-patent in 2006. This would leave the market open to generic versions of these brands...

Pfizer on the Marketing Offensive Again

Pfizer had set itself a stiff target of more than US$ 13 billion for Lipitor in 2006. It felt that its slow growth in the first quarter of 2006 notwithstanding, it could achieve the target. Sales of Lipitor in the first quarter of 2006 were at US$ 3.11 billion with a growth of one percent as compared to the first quarter of 2005. Analysts said that the sales of Lipitor were slow due to tough competition from Vytorin, jointly marketed by Schering-Plough Corp. and Merck.

Outlook

Analysts felt that Pfizer could face more lawsuits regarding off-label marketing of Lipitor in the future as states battled with the costs due to expanded Medicare drug coverage. "States are going to tighten up this sort of thing because it's a way to control Medicare costs. If suits like this start proving to be successful, then you'll start to see a cascade effect," said Les Funtleyder (Funtleyder), analyst for Miller Tabak.

Exhibit

Lipitor Marketing - Under A Cloud
Background Note
Lipitor -The Super-Blockbuster
Illegal Marketing?
More Problems for Lipitor
Pfizer on the Marketing Offensive again
Outlook
Exhibit


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