Physicians & Patients Anxiously Await Results from Cholesterol-Reducing Drug Development Footrace


The recent discovery of a rare gene mutation causing cholesterol levels not imagined previously has caused a three-way footrace between industry giants, Sanofi, Pfizer, and Amgen. The pharmaceutical companies are all in the process of developing drugs that mimic the mutation in order to be the first to win FDA approval and patent the drug.

Despite the excitement that surrounds new innovations, critics are still concerned by the extremely low levels of cholesterol that the drug may induce. The New York Times posted an article, “Rare Mutation Ignites Race for Cholesterol Drug” in the health section of recent news that discusses the progress of the topic. The news article explained that “heart disease still remains the leading killer of Americans, causing nearly 600,000 deaths a year.” Although cholesterol-reducing drugs are on the market, none have been successful enough to change this statistic.

Clearly, new drugs can be powerful and exciting, but the way that companies market a drug can certainly add to the ultimate success or failure of the product. Best Practices, LLC delve deeper into the subject matter by completing field research and analog analyses. From this research report, we found that many new and innovative drugs often are rejected or ridiculed by many physicians prior to release.

Our analysis suggests that new drugs must be combined with rigorous medical education and publication releases to help clinicians better understand the drug, and to replace old treatment paradigms with new therapies.

To further examine the topic, we completed a Case Study on the success of Genentech’s drug, Rituxan. Although a plethora of doctors initially rejected the drug, it has been characterized as one of the most successful and fastest launched drugs for cancer therapy in recent years. By using an understated, low-key marketing campaign, Rituxan’s marketers have had no reported FDAMA violations.

Clearly, new innovations bring lots of criticism. By understanding success stories and the best practices used by these companies, leaders can successfully develop and distribute a new drug. As the three giants race to develop the “miracle Cholesterol-reducing drug”, physicians, patients, and the world will hold their breath waiting to see the impact of the new drug.

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