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Genentech Remains #1 in Market Strategies' 2008 MSImage Oncology and Hematology Study

Novartis narrows Genentech's lead and Sanofi-Aventis, AstraZeneca and Amgen round out the top five; Celgene retains 4th position among hematologists

Market Strategies International, a full-service custom and syndicated research and strategic consulting firm, has released the results from its 2008 MSImage Oncology and Hematology syndicated study that identifies which pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical company's are perceived to have the best market image among oncologists and hematologists.

The study was conducted in conjunction with 465 physicians, who evaluated more than 30 pharmaceutical sales professionals, corporate equity and R&D attributes, to determine which measures drive a pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical company's image and performance.

"Our MSImage study helps companies better understand their strengths and weaknesses among their key stakeholders," said Senior Vice President Peter Carlin, who runs Market Strategies' Global Healthcare Research Division. "These results also show how a company's focus can be redirected toward those key performance measures that drive image, which ultimately influence the behavior of their most important customers."

"Companies that have been evaluated by Market Strategies as the best performers can drive those 'engagement' behaviors that are most important in an environment where share of voice is becoming increasingly competitive," Carlin said.

"We believe there is a strong correlation between a high image and these 'behaviors,' such as a physician's likelihood to recommend products to colleagues, the ability to try new products, making time to meet with sales professionals and MSLs, or to visit a corporate display at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting or other workshops," Carlin said.

While Genentech maintained its leadership position across office-based and hospital-based oncologists and hematologists, Novartis Oncology now represents the major challenger to Genentech's long-standing reign. Genentech's lead among office-based oncologists is still significant but has narrowed across all companies.

"As a result, the difference between Genentech and Novartis among hematologists is no longer significant." Carlin said.

Sanofi-Aventis and AstraZeneca remain strong top-five companies with the former showing significant improvement across all of its stakeholders. The impact of ESA issues appears to have negatively impacted both Amgen and Ortho Biotech in 2008, as both companies declined on key performance measures that drive high image scores. Eli Lilly finished a strong sixth among office-based oncologists, just slightly behind Amgen.

Celgene and Millennium continue to be top performers among hematologists and therefore challenge the perception that small companies cannot be competitive in both markets, the MSImage Oncology and Hematology study concludes. Both companies appear poised to move up in 2009 among oncologists with stronger performances in 2008.

GlaxoSmithKline and Bristol-Myers Squibb saw little change in their overall rankings, despite the introduction of new products. And Pfizer, Bayer and Wyeth, which dominated the buzz at ASCO 2007 with their new products in renal cell carcinoma, failed to show significant gains in the 2008 MSImage rankings.

Companies that recognized the critical importance of scoring well on key driver measures improved their 2008 performance according to Carlin. "It's clear that oncologists and hematologists attach high image ratings to companies that are highly innovative, trustworthy and have knowledgeable sales professionals who provide objective information," Carlin said.

"While sales professionals will continue to be an important phase of pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical companies, the impact of a physician's total customer experience with that company should also be emphasized," said Carlin, referring to one of the study's findings.

"Physician experience is impacted by a number of touch points beyond just their core contact relationships and therapeutic experience with products," Carlin said. "Such touch points include experiences with your R&D efforts, proactive communication initiatives, a renewed commitment to patient access and an understandable organizational structure. All these factors influence your customers' experiences with you."

Market Strategies' 2008 MSImage Oncology and Hematology study was released to its subscribers on March 31, 2008. The questionnaire was fielded via the Internet among 465 physicians in February. Physicians were recruited from a nationally representative e-research panel.

For more information on this study, contact:

Katy Palmer, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Healthcare Division
734.542.7746

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