Arena Pharmaceuticals, reported that Eisai Inc. has completed its planned increase of more than 200 new contract sales representatives in its Metabolic Business Unit, increasing the sales force for BELVIQ by 50% to approximately 600. Eisai expects this expansion of the sales force will enable them to increase their reach to approximately 92,000 physicians in the United States.
Eisai is responsible for the marketing and distribution of BELVIQ in the United States under its agreement with Arena.
"We are enthusiastic about the commercial ramp-up for BELVIQ with this further increase in the sales force," said Jack Lief, Arena's President and Chief Executive Officer. "This involves a large-scale deployment of additional sales representatives who will increase Eisai's ability to educate physicians. We support the approach and believe that it will help produce greater results." BELVIQ is indicated as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adult patients with an initial body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obese), or 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related, comorbid condition (e.g., hypertension, dyslipidemia, 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, and the effect of BELVIQ on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not been established.