Drug name: Tudorza
Companies: Forest Laboratories and Actavis
Amount spent on doctor payments: $5.31 million
Tudorza, an inhaled COPD treatment developed by Forest Laboratories, was one of 9 drugs Forest pegged for growth after its antidepressant giant Lexapro went off patent in March 2012. About 27 million people in the U.S. are affected by COPD, and Citigroup estimates the market for these drugs will hit $14 billion in 2018, up from $10 billion in 2013. But Tudorza competes in a crowded space, against products from GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), AstraZeneca ($AZN), Merck ($MRK), Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis ($NVS) and Teva ($TEVA).
Tudorza hasn't been a barn burner so far; launched in December of that year, the drug brought in $76.5 million for the fiscal year ending March 2014. So, Forest--now owned by Actavis--put some resources behind the treatment in hopes of carving out market share. And that includes speaking programs. The company spent $5.3 million on doctor payments over the last 5 months of 2013, according to ProPublica, in the most recent data available. In a few months, though, Tudorza will be another company's marketing challenge. AstraZeneca agreed in early February to buy Tudorza and another Actavis lung drug, Daliresp, for $600 million up front, plus royalties. -- Eric Sagonowsky (email)
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