It was a good start for Amylin Pharmaceuticals
Unfortunately, that decreased loss was almost entirely due to cutting costs. Sales were essentially flat year over year, as the company has had trouble boosting sales of its diabetes drug, Byetta, because it was linked to pancreatitis. In fact, prescriptions for Byetta were actually down from the previous quarter.
In order to get sales growing again, Amylin is combining its sales force with marketing partner Eli Lilly
With or without the pancreatitis issue, the currently available drug is unlikely to be a major seller because it has to be injected twice daily. With plenty of oral drugs available to diabetics, it's more reasonable to ask patients to inject themselves once a week with the new product, which was designed using Alkermes'
Amylin is basically sitting in limbo for the next year or so until it hears back from the FDA. The only thing it can do now is try and get as many people onto Byetta as it can. The early adoption from those patients when the once-weekly product is available should drive additional patients to the once-weekly product.
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