Symlin has been approved for a year, check it out. While we have thought for a long time that Symlin will be bigger in non-diabetics than in diabetics, the drug has certainly helped a countless number of patients - I accidentally went out to dinner this evening in Menlo Park and I FORGOT my Symlin and I felt so hampered at dinner! I had to eat fewer carbs at Iberia (amazing - this place is incredible and always empty) - hugely disappointing! Like many patients say, I just feel so much better on it!
So on Byetta - we are sure everyone saw the amazing New York Times piece - the one with the Byetta pen on the cover of the business section?
The NY Times is serious about diabetes and the visibility will only continue to increase. The following is a little exercise trying to determine the impact of the article.
So google tells us that 1.1 million is the circulation figure for the NYC. Let's assume 10% see the article and send it on. 10% of circulation number assumes that a) more than one person per paper reads the article, b) the reach of the article includes not only people who read the article, but also includes friends and relatives of those who read the article and respond by calling or e-mailing the diabetic person.
If 10% of the NYT readers are diabetic, the average percentage failing oral meds would be about 40% of those (57% probably on orals, 66% of those failing orals, say). So say that 40,000 of the readers are Byetta candidates.
So, if the 40,000 see a PCP four times a year, that's 160,000 visits, divided by 250 days/year, that's 640 visits a day that could have Byetta starts. That shows the potential and how this Byetta momentum is likely just in the early stages.
The article is the 12th most emailed for the last 30 days -- check it out, this has replaced my own personal favorite highly-emailed article for 2006, Irish royalty in NY, from January!
So let's say that 640 visits a day could have Byetta starts and let's say the article prompts 5% more interest than usual, that's 32 per day or 160 a week.
For us, the article really reflects real-life -- so yes, the article will have influence for sure, but it also reflects growing word of mouth that is just out there happening.