DEERFIELD, Ill., Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Horizon Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: HZNP) announced today that it has completed the expansion of its sales force from 80 to 150 representatives. This expansion will allow increased reach and frequency of calls on physician targets for its lead product DUEXIS ® (ibuprofen and famotidine), which is indicated for the relief of signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and to decrease the risk of developing upper gastrointestinal ulcers. In addition, the Company will leverage its expanded sales force to launch its recently approved product, RAYOS (prednisone) delayed-release tablets, which will be available to physicians this quarter.
In June, Horizon entered an agreement granting Mallinckrodt, the Pharmaceuticals business of Covidien, the right to co-promote DUEXIS in the United States through December 31, 2014, which also added an undisclosed number of sales representatives.
"Our sales force expansion, in addition to the Mallinckrodt sales representatives who began promoting DUEXIS in late August, will allow us to broaden our reach for DUEXIS five-fold from 10,000 physicians who write 8 percent of NSAID prescriptions to 50,000 physicians who write more than 50 percent of NSAID prescriptions," said Timothy P. Walbert, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Horizon Pharma. "Early prescription growth as a result of this increased promotion beginning in late August has shown a positive initial trend with total August DUEXIS prescriptions growing 16 percent. With our recent $81 million public offering and our combined promotional effort in full force, we believe DUEXIS is well-positioned for future growth.
Recent DUEXIS Performance UpdateHorizon Pharma reported during its second quarter earnings call that according to monthly data from Source Healthcare Analytics (SHA), formerly Wolters Kluwer, total DUEXIS prescriptions for the second quarter of 2012 were 18,805, an increase of 81% over prescriptions for the first quarter of 2012. In addition, gross sales of DUEXIS in the second quarter of 2012 increased 91% compared to the first quarter of 2012. Also, according to SHA, new DUEXIS monthly prescriptions for the month of August were 6,770, an increase of 18% over July 2012 and total prescriptions for the month of August were 8,471, an increase of 16% versus July 2012. About DUEXIS DUEXIS, a proprietary single-tablet combination of the NSAID ibuprofen and the histamine H2-receptor antagonist famotidine, is indicated for the relief of signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and to decrease the risk of developing upper gastrointestinal ulcers, which in the clinical trials was defined as a gastric and/or duodenal ulcer, in patients who are taking ibuprofen for those indications. The clinical trials primarily enrolled patients less than 65 years of age without a prior history of gastrointestinal ulcer. Controlled trials do not extend beyond 6 months. For more information, please visit www.DUEXIS.com. Important Safety Information About DUEXIS DUEXIS is not right for everyone. People who have had asthma, hives, or an allergic reaction to aspirin or other NSAIDs should not take DUEXIS. Women in the late stages of pregnancy should not take DUEXIS. People who have had allergic reactions to medications like famotidine (histamine H2‐receptor antagonists) should not take DUEXIS.