Eisai Adds 200 Sales Specialists to Field Force

Expansion enables Eisai to reach 90,000 healthcare providers

Woodcliff Lake-based Eisai Inc. announced it will add more than 200 new contract sales representatives to its Metabolic Business Unit, bringing the total sales force for BELVIQ® to approximately 600, triple the size from when the FDA-approved prescription therapy for chronic weight management became available in June 2013. This expansion, which becomes effective on July 1, 2014, will allow Eisai to reach approximately 90,000 physicians.

The increase in sales representatives follows Eisai’s recent launch of a national television advertising campaign which encourages those who continue to struggle with their weight to speak to their doctor about the potential of BELVIQ, when combined with diet and increased activity, to help them lose weight and keep it off.

“We believe that it’s important for patients who have not succeeded with losing weight through diet and exercise alone to speak with their healthcare providers about weight management options,” said Michael O’Brien, Vice President, Americas, Metabolic Business Unit at Eisai. “Our goal with both the expansion of the field force and consumer advertising campaign is to ensure that both physicians and patients have the information they need to have a productive conversation about the potential value of BELVIQ as part of a long term weight loss regimen.”

BELVIQ is used along with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obese), or BMI of 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) with at least one weight-related medical condition such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes. It is not known if BELVIQ is safe and effective when taken with other prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal weight loss products, nor is it known if BELVIQ changes the risk of heart problems or stroke, or death due to heart problems or stroke.

In addition to creating greater awareness of BELVIQ among physicians and patients, Eisai continues to work toward expanded reimbursement coverage for BELVIQ from the payor community. According to Fingertip Formulary, the number of insured commercial lives in the United States with access to BELVIQ now exceeds 60 percent. The health plan beneficiary/patient will need to verify coverage with their insurance company.

“Eisai is dedicated to ensuring the appropriate patients have access to BELVIQ,” said Yuji Matsue, Chairman and CEO of Eisai Inc. and President of the Americas Region. “We continue to work with managed care companies, insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and government payors to establish the broadest possible access for eligible patients.”

Approximately two-thirds of American adults are affected by obesity or are overweight and the prevalence of obesity in the United States has more than doubled among adults in the past 30 years. Many health organizations and authorities, including the American Medical Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health now recognize obesity as a chronic and progressive disease that needs to be treated.

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