ELITE Launch Expert Gary Lewandowski of Depomed, Inc.

Gary Lewandowski

Sr. Director, Marketing

Depomed, Inc.



Pain Management Expert

Gary Lewandowski has devoted his life’s work to helping people who are suffering in pain gain access to appropriate pain treatment. Over the course of his career, he has either managed or launched some of the most widely known branded pain medications in the industry, including MS Contin®, OxyContin®, Palladone®, Ryzolt®, Butrans®, Hysingla® ER, NUCYNTA® and NUCYNTA® ER.

“I would like to believe that my career’s work within pain management has contributed to meaningful differences in the lives of people suffering from acute and chronic pain,” explains Lewandowski. “It’s important to recognize that pain is a very individualized thing and what works for one patient doesn’t necessarily work for another. What drives me is my firm belief that having access to more treatment options as a result of bringing innovative pain medications to market provides healthcare professionals the ability to individualize treatment for people in pain.”

One example of how he was able to make a difference recently is with the relaunch of the pain medications NUCYNTA® and NUCYNTA® ER, both of which contain tapentadol—the first new chemical entity in the centrally acting analgesic class approved since 1995. NUCYNTA® ER is a strong prescription pain medicine that contains an opioid (narcotic) that is used to treat moderate to severe around-the-clock pain and pain from damaged nerves (neuropathic pain) that happens with diabetes. NUCYNTA® is an opioid analgesic indicated for the management of moderate to severe acute pain in adults.

When the team was tasked with leading the relaunch, they had limited time to do the re-positioning, branding, and messaging work. The objective was to educate which type of person in pain can really benefit the most from NUCYNTA® and NUCYNTA® ER. The challenge is the hurdle of re-educating the varied healthcare professionals, their staff, the payers, and all other care providers, as most of them already had an established perception of both medications. However, so far, the results speak for themselves. In the first six months, Depomed has set an all-time high for prescription sales and market share for NUCYNTA® ER and reversed the historical decline in NUCYNTA® prescriptions seen prior to its acquisition.


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