As investors in Wyeth
For Teva Pharmaceuticals
Presenting the data now and at another meeting next month is a smart move for Teva. The meetings essentially act as marketing material for Azilect. Because this new information is not on the label, the sales reps can't tell doctors that Azilect slows the progression of Parkinson's disease, but nothing keeps Teva from sharing the data with the doctors at the meeting. Since Azilect is already approved, Teva is hoping they'll go home and write more prescriptions for their patients.
As good as the data is, Azilect, with $120 million in sales last year, has a long ways to go before it's the next Copaxone -- Teva's multiple sclerosis drug that's on pace to have sales top $2 billion this year. Parkinson's disease is actually a larger market in the U.S. compared to MS, but the competition is pretty tough. Azilect has to compete against generic versions of drugs like Bristol-Myers Squibb's
Even if it's not able to become the next blockbuster, the label change should help Teva increase sales of Azilect and every little bit helps.
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