- For Print
- October 16, 2013
Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, President & CEO: Haruo Naito, “Eisai”) announced today that its subsidiary in the United States, Eisai Inc., has decided to increase the number of sales representatives for the antiobesity agent BELVIQ® (lorcaserin hydrochloride) by more than 200 contract employees to increase awareness and education about BELVIQ among healthcare providers. The expansion will increase the sales force to approximately 400 sales representatives by December 2013, which is double the size from when BELVIQ became available in June 2013, and will allow Eisai to provide information on the efficacy and safety of the drug to approximately 65,000 healthcare professionals in obesity treatment throughout the United States, including primary care providers.
Since launching BELVIQ in June 2013, Eisai Inc. has focused on expanding reimbursement coverage for BELVIQ in addition to physician education efforts and providing programs for patient awareness and support. As a result, BELVIQ is now covered by several prominent health plans and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) including, but not limited to, Express Scripts (including its legacy Express Scripts and Medco operations), Tufts, Health Alliance Plan, Excellus BCBS, Highmark BCBS, BCBS of Michigan, BCBS of North Carolina, and Healthnet (California). Eisai's decision to increase its sales force was made in light of these improvements in the reimbursement landscape, as part of the company's long-term marketing strategy for BELVIQ.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over two-thirds of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese, with the percentage of obese people more than doubling (from approximately 15% to 36%) between 1980 and 2010. Being obese or overweight may be accompanied by other co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, dyslipidemia and hypertension. This increase in the obese and overweight population constitutes a major social problem.
Through BELVIQ, the Eisai Group is committed to providing a new treatment option for obesity in order to make further contributions to address unmet medical needs that exist in the medical management of obesity and increase the benefits provided to patients and their families.
[ Please refer to the following notes for further information on BELVIQ. ]
Public Relations Department,
Eisai Co., Ltd.
< Notes to editors >
1. About BELVIQ® (lorcaserin hydrochloride)
Discovered and developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc., BELVIQ is a new chemical entity that is believed to decrease food consumption and promote satiety by selectively activating serotonin 2C receptors in the brain. Activation of these receptors may help a person eat less and feel full after eating smaller amounts of food. BELVIQ was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2012 as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adult patients with an initial BMI of 30 kg/m2or greater (obese) or 27 kg/m2or greater (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related co-morbid condition. The use of BELVIQ in combination with other products for weight loss and its effectiveness on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality have not been established. BELVIQ was launched in the United States in June 2013 after being given a schedule rating from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Eisai Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd., possesses exclusive marketing and supply rights for BELVIQ in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Canada and 17 other countries in the Americas region. For further information on BELVIQ, including important safety information (ISI), please visit the BELVIQ product website ( http://www.belviq.com).