Eisai to Expand Antiobesity Agent BELVIQ Sales Force in U.S.
Tokyo, Oct 16, 2013 - (JCN Newswire) - Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo,
President & CEO: Haruo Naito, "Eisai") announced today that its
subsidiary in the United States, Eisai Inc., has decided to increase the number
of sales representatives for the antiobesity agent BELVIQ (lorcaserin
hydrochloride) by more than 200 contract employees to increase awareness and
education about BELVIQ among healthcare providers. The expansion will increase
the sales force to approximately 400 sales representatives by December 2013,
which is double the size from when BELVIQ became available in June 2013, and
will allow Eisai to provide information on the efficacy and safety of the drug
to approximately 65,000 healthcare professionals in obesity treatment
throughout the United States, including primary care providers.
Since launching BELVIQ in June 2013, Eisai Inc. has focused on expanding
reimbursement coverage for BELVIQ in addition to physician education efforts
and providing programs for patient awareness and support. As a result, BELVIQ
is now covered by several prominent health plans and pharmacy benefit managers
(PBMs) including, but not limited to, Express Scripts (including its legacy
Express Scripts and Medco operations), Tufts, Health Alliance Plan, Excellus
BCBS, Highmark BCBS, BCBS of Michigan, BCBS of North Carolina, and Healthnet
(California). Eisai's decision to increase its sales force was made in
light of these improvements in the reimbursement landscape, as part of the
company's long-term marketing strategy for BELVIQ.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over
two-thirds of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese, with
the percentage of obese people more than doubling (from approximately 15percent
to 36 percent) between 1980 and 2010. Being obese or overweight may be
accompanied by other co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, dyslipidemia and
hypertension. This increase in the obese and overweight population constitutes
a major social problem.
Through BELVIQ, the Eisai Group is committed to providing a new treatment
option for obesity in order to make further contributions to address unmet
medical needs that exist in the medical management of obesity and increase the
benefits provided to patients and their families.
[Please refer to the following notes for further information on BELVIQ.]
1. About BELVIQ (lorcaserin hydrochloride)
Discovered and developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc., BELVIQ is a new
chemical entity that is believed to decrease food consumption and promote
satiety by selectively activating serotonin 2C receptors in the brain.
Activation of these receptors may help a person eat less and feel full after
eating smaller amounts of food. BELVIQ was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) in June 2012 as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and
increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adult patients
with an initial BMI of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obese) or 27 kg/m2 or greater
(overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related co-morbid
The use of BELVIQ in combination with other products for weight loss and its
effectiveness on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality have not been
established. BELVIQ was launched in the United States in June 2013 after being
given a schedule rating from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Eisai Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd., possesses exclusive marketing
and supply rights for BELVIQ in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Canada and
16 other countries in the Americas region. For further information on BELVIQ,
including important safety
information (ISI), please visit the BELVIQ product website
Eisai Co., Ltd. (TSE: 4523; ADR: ESALY) is a research-based human health care
(hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products throughout the
world. Eisai focuses its efforts in three therapeutic areas: integrative
neuroscience, including neurology and psychiatric medicines; integrative
oncology, which encompasses oncotherapy and supportive-care treatments; and
vascular/immunological reaction. Through a global network of research
facilities, manufacturing sites and marketing subsidiaries, Eisai actively
participates in all aspects of the worldwide healthcare system. For more
information about Eisai Co., Ltd., please visit www.eisai.com.
Eisai Co., Ltd.
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