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Combination Therapies Continue to Thrive Among Pharma Brands

A new study shows that combination therapies - combining two or more medications into one formulation - continue to be viable, affordable options for pharmaceutical brand teams to pursue and grow product franchise value.

Cutting Edge Information's report "Pharmaceutical Product Relaunch: Preserving Market Share through Line Extension and New Market Entry Strategies" reveals that 58% of companies that launch combination therapies increase revenues for their brands. The pharmaceutical industry shows no signs of slowing the trend to develop and promote combination drugs with new DTC advertisements for brands such as Vytorin and Caduet being broadcast.

"One reason the companies are pursuing combination therapies so heavily is that they are relatively cheap and a great solution to many generic woes," said Elio Evangelista, research team leader at Cutting Edge Information. Many companies can produce combination therapies for a fraction of the initial costs to develop the ingredient medications. Furthermore, combination drugs can often garner additional patent protection due to the nature of their new chemical makeup.

Research into combination therapies has met with both success and challenges. Pfizer backed off its initial plans to launch a combination of Lipitor with its new compound torcetrapib. However, as recently as March 2007, Roche had found success in combining a new investigational treatment for HIV with two existing treatments, Fuzeon and Prezista. According to a company statement, 98% of patients who received the investigational integrase inhibitor raltegravir, along with Fuzeon and the protease inhibitor Prezista, achieved undetectable levels of HIV according to new interim clinical data.

"Pharmaceutical Product Relaunch: Preserving Market Share through Line Extension and New Market Entry Strategies" examines combination therapies, along with six other lifecycle management strategies, to understand the mo tivating factors driving relaunch decisions. Furthermore, Cutting Edge Information collected key benchmarks on the strategies' average implementation costs, average return on investment, effectiveness and timing.


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