AstraZeneca's Crestor: Challenges in the US Market



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Code : COM0047

Year :
2004

Industry : Health Care

Region : USA

Teaching Note:Not Available

Structured Assignment :Not Available

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Introduction:Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca was the fourth-largest drugmaker in the world and second-largest in Europe. Based in London, the company was the result of a 1999 merger between the Swedish Astra and British Zeneca plc. The company specialized in prescription medicines for the treatment of high cholesterol, cancer, asthma and stomach ulcers.The company shot to fame after its ulcer-healing drug Prilosec, became the world's best-selling drug in 2001. As Prilosec was facing generic competition due to patent expiration, the company announced its research plans to launch a new drug, Crestor, into the Cholesterol-lowering drugs segment. Also called as statins, the segment formed a highly competitive and lucrative segment for the pharmaceutical companies.

Led by Pfizer and followed by Merck, the global market for statins was estimated to be around $26 billion in 2003. Particularly, statins were huge cash-cows for the drug companies as they offered higher margins. AstraZeneca got the FDA approval for Crestor, in July 2003. Several studies, including the data released at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology, showed that Crestor might be more effective than Lipitor. AstraZeneca's CEO Tom McKillop said it was only a matter of time before Crestor captured 20%of themarket share...

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