Drug name: Daliresp
Companies: Forest Laboratories and Actavis
Use: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Amount spent on doctor payments: $5.2 million

Forest Laboratories had a lot riding on Daliresp. The company's blockbuster antidepressant Lexapro, which made up half of its annual sales, went off patent in 2012, and Daliresp was one of a cadre of new products charged with rebuilding the top line. By year's end, the company had its sales force out promoting Daliresp along with the brand-new Tudorza and managed some steady growth; Daliresp brought in about $75 million for the last 9 months of 2013 (part of its fiscal year ended March 2014). That's up from $54 million year over year. Forest's doctor-speaker program may have had something to do with that; the company paid out $5.2 million to physicians during the last 5 months of 2013, according to ProPublica's most recent statistics.

Actavis ($ACT) bought Forest last year, and now, the new owner has decided to hand off Daliresp and Tudorza to a bigger player in the respiratory business. In early February, AstraZeneca ($AZN) agreed to pay $600 million, plus royalties, for rights to the two drugs, hoping that its respiratory sales force can jump-start their growth. -- Tracy Staton (email | Twitter)

For more:
AstraZeneca continues its respiratory land grab with $600M-plus Actavis deal
Icahn slams Forest for undisclosed FDA warning
Forest, Nycomed win narrow FDA approval on new COPD drug


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