- Sanofi has replaced one-third of its sales managers for its U.S. diabetes business in order to gain competitive advantages over Novo Nordisk in this therapeutic space.
- Sanofi recently told investors that diabetes sales—which accounts for 20% of its business—would be flat to only slightly higher through 2018.
- A major reason for Sanofi's woes is competitive pressure from Novo Nordisk, particularly its long-acting insulin, Levemir, which is taking market share away from Sanofi's long-acting insulin Lantus.
There's a lot at stake at Sanofi right now, and most of it hinges on the success of its diabetes drugs, including not only the old flagship Lantus, but also the next-gen insulin glargine Toujeo (expected to launch later this year) and recently FDA-approved inhaled insulin product Afrezza (co-developed with MannKind).
Novo has been taking market share from Lantus at the rate of roughly 2% per year and Sanofi is determined to turn that around, leveraging the power of a better-trained sales force with a tighter marketing message and the ability to interact with doctors more effectively.