Decision Resources and Millennium Research Group have produced a new report that finds that Merck will surpass Pfizer as the leading company in the cholesterol-lowering agent drug market by 2011. According to the report entitled Brands & Strategies: Dyslipidemia, three major events in the dyslipidemia market will contribute to Merck's success: patent expirations of Pfizer's Lipitor the United States in 2010 and in Europe in 2011; the continued rise of blockbuster drugs Vytorin and Zetia; and the highly anticipated launches of laropiprant (MK-0524A) and MK-0524B from Merck. In addition to Merck's emerging drugs, at least six other drugs are expected to launch before 2011.

"The discontinuation of torcetrapib in December 2006 leaves Pfizer without another blockbuster dyslipidemia drug in the pipeline," said Diego Garzon, analyst at Millennium Research Group. "Pfizer has announced an increase in promotional efforts emphasizing Lipitor's efficacy, clinical trial data, and safety; however, initiatives from health maintenance organizations such as WellPoint, offering no co-pay fees for four months if patients switch to generic simvastatin, are cutting into Lipitor's market share and sales."

The report reveals that Merck's development of laropiprant is picking up where Pfizer failed, targeting high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or the "good cholesterol." Merck is using niacin, a proven and effective agent for increasing HDL, combined with a novel drug to prevent flushing, a common side effect with niacin use that leads to patient noncompliance. In the United States, Merck's Zocor has been off patent for one year, and the generic erosion over that time has been more severe than originally anticipated.

"The generic erosion of Zocor does not bode well for Lipitor, which will experience the same generic erosion as Zocor in 2011," continued Mr. Garzon. "Without another blockbuster dyslipidemia drug in the pipeline, Pfizer has nothing to help it recover its losses once Lipitor comes off patent."

About Brands & Strategies

Brands & Strategies is the first and only report series to bring together all of the competitive information elements biopharmaceutical companies need to make informed decisions about their products and the best next-steps. Each report includes the following:

  -- Physician perceptions of companies and brand attributes. NEW   -- Physician preference for sources of information. NEW   -- Physician opinion of future strategies, messaging, and upcoming events.      NEW   -- Overview of competitive landscape.   -- Pipeline analysis by company within a specific disease.   -- SWOT analysis on each brand.   -- Brand lifecycle strategy, including clinical trial competitive      analysis.   -- Trend analysis of brand-specific messaging. NEW   -- Brand-specific, event-driven, 5-year annualized market forecast.   -- Country-specific, event-driven market share projections by company and      brand.   -- Drug class and brand vs. generics sales by country.   -- Pricing analysis with company-specific strategy, price for all drugs      over 5 years, impact of generics.   -- Analysis of promotional spend for each product.   -- Selling strategies based on clinical trials.   -- Prevalent and diagnosed population by country.    About Millennium Research Group 

Millennium Research Group (www.MRG.net), part of the Decision Resources, Inc., family, is a leading provider of strategic information to the healthcare sector. Focused on the medical device, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries, the company provides clients its specialized industry expertise through published reports and customized consulting services.

About Decision Resources

Decision Resources, Inc., (www.DecisionResources.com) is a world leader in healthcare market research publications, advisory services, and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources, and master their chosen markets.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

  For more information, contact:    Elizabeth Marshall   Decision Resources, Inc.   781-296-2563   emarshall@dresources.com 

SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

CONTACT: Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, Inc.,
+1-781-296-2563, emarshall@dresources.com

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