Allergan continues Viberzi push with online IBS-D awareness tool

Allergan is working to grow its market share for IBS-D therapy Viberzi. And to that end, it’s rolling out a new tool that it hopes will help grow the market.

Earlier this week, the company launched, an online resource for the 15 million U.S. sufferers of the malady. Included on the website is information on identifying symptoms, managing the condition and speaking with a doctor about IBS-D, Allergan said.

The company is hoping the new site will help patients--often held back by “embarrassment or uncertainty about symptoms”--see a doctor about the condition, and, in turn, understand their options, Gavin Corcoran, Allergan’s CMO, said in a statement.

One of those options is, of course, Viberzi, the treatment that won FDA approval the very same day as Valeant rival Xifaxan. Unlike Allergan, though--whose contender was held up by DEA scheduling--Valeant got right to work rolling out its product, along with a DTC effort featuring the divisive, pink “gut guy.”

Allergan struck back not long ago, though, with a spokescharacter of its own. This spring, a redhead in a flesh-colored unitard--Irritabelle--took center stage to help hawk Viberzi, interrupting and annoying patients the same way the malady can.

And so far, the Dublin drugmaker’s work on the launch is paying off, Chief Commercial Officer Bill Meury recently told shareholders. Since Viberzi hit the market at the end of 2015, more than 8,000 physicians have prescribed the therapy, with about 65% of the base falling into the “repeat prescriber” category. And the company has seen “a nice boost to scripts” since the DTC campaign took off in April, Meury said.

- read Allergan's release

Special Report: Top 10 animated characters in pharma marketing - Xifaxan Gut Guy - Valeant

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