Novartis plans unconventional sales strategy for new heart drug

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Novartis is sidestepping the traditional drug launch process in favor of a more unconventional marketing tactic for its new cholesterol drug Leqvio, The Wall Street Journal reported Nov. 21.

Instead of marketing the drug to patients and individual physicians, Novartis will attempt to convince health system executives that large-scale rollouts of the drug could prevent thousands of heart attacks and strokes. Using EHR records, Novartis would work with health systems to identify heart patients who have trouble controlling their cholesterol with existing drugs and offer them Leqvio instead. 

The drugmaker said it plans to approach about 200 health systems nationwide with this agreement offer once the FDA finalizes its review of Leqvio early next year. 

Novartis acquired Leqvio during its $9.7 billion acquisition of the Medicines Co., a deal that was finalized in January 2020. Unlike most cholesterol drugs, which entail a daily pill, Leqvio is administered twice a year via an injection. 

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