Will VIVUS' Strategy Jump-Start Sales?

Investors had high hopes for VIVUS' (Nasdaq: VVUS  ) new anti-obesity drug Qsymia, but the drug debuted to lackluster sales -- and it's taking a toll on VIVUS' share price. Now, VIVUS is shifting its focus -- marketing not to the doctors who will be prescribing Qsymia, but directly to patients by offering a free trial. Does this shift represent a fundamentally different marketing approach for the company, and more importantly for investors, will it work? Health care analysts Max Macaluso and Brenton Flynn discuss this news in the following video.

The ravages of America's obesity epidemic are a challenge of epic proportions. However, a group of drug companies is looking to change everything. Newly approved drugs, including Qsymia, could help to reverse this deadly course while reaping massive profits for investors in the process. The profit opportunity is immense but plenty of risks still exist, so make sure you understand the full story behind VIVUS in the Fool's brand new premium research service. It's such an important story that we have our top health care writer on the job, so make sure to secure a copy today by clicking here now.

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  • Report this Comment On November 26, 2012, at 7:51 PM, NYGuy01 wrote:

    A desperate idea by a desperate company. Especially when they have another drug that has been approved and isn't available. This is the equivalent of walking down an aisle in a grocery store and hoping someone will try it, except the grocery store has a member fee and no one knows it or can get to it.

  • Report this Comment On November 26, 2012, at 8:34 PM, PRODOD wrote:

    The Rx requirement for Qsymia is for 30 days initial treatment and VVUS is marketing a free 15 day trial period? Perhaps their intensions were good, but beyond that it seems like a daft promotion ... designed --on its face-- to generate a high percentage of failure among those patients who don't take the drug beyond the 'free 15 day trial'. Moreover, it may be unethical to expose users to whatever clinical risks are associated with the drug without providing a full Rx that would allow any 'trial period' users to reap a benefit. It is a strange marketing pitch that is --IMO-- not well thought out....

  • Report this Comment On November 26, 2012, at 11:38 PM, Bampotsco wrote:

    Peanut Gallery: Next time you are in your physician's office ask to see their "sample cupboard." To preface, everything from birth control pills (3 month starter packs) to anti-hypertensives are sampled, primarily to assess patient tolerance. Clinically obese patients are a nightmare for physicians. Their hips and knees are shot because of the stress on their joints yet they believe they should have hips and knees replaced instead of dropping 50 lbs. Compliance is therefore a "huge" issue regardless of price point or co-pay. It is also a given that a full prescription would accompany any starter packs and full prescribing information including side effects would accompany any script. This innovative scheme of a brief trial period for Qsymia perhaps should have been started at the outset however marketing were probably concerned about upsetting investors by giving up too much out of the gate. Consequences of this delayed action may now be a much larger pill to swallow. Catch me on twitter @BAMPOTSCOT.

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