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Pharma salesforces brought to a halt as coronavirus shutters economy

March 17, 2020 / Ned Pagliarulo

Late last year, New Jersey drugmaker Amarin won a long-sought U.S. approval for its pill Vascepa, allowing the company to market the drug for reducing heart risk. It was a major milestone for the company, validating the decision to run a lengthy and expensive cardiovascular outcomes study, which had delivered positive results in 2018. Eager to sell the drug to a now much wider group of patients, Amarin doubled the number of sales representatives it employs to reach out to doctors and other healthcare professionals. But the outbreak of the new coronavirus across the U.S. has upended those plans, forcing the company to suspend face-to-face meetings for at least the next two weeks.