Seeking Alpha

Spencer Osborne

 
View as an RSS Feed
View Spencer Osborne's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Vivus Tries To Lead Obesity Space With Insurance Coverage [View article]
    Readers....

    More "confusion"

    This "news" is not really new news. The CVS Caremark PDL was done back in October. It will likely be at least 6 months before the PDL is updated. Being the sole drug on the PDL does not mean that it is the only drug with coverage options.
    Dec 19, 2014. 11:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Vivus Tries To Lead Obesity Space With Insurance Coverage [View article]
    Value....

    I think there is a lack of "sympathy" when it comes to weight.

    There is a general thought that a person should be able to control their intake of food and get enough exercise to resolve the issue. There is a method of "cure" for most obesity that is no cost to an insurance company. PROPER diet and PROPER exercise.

    This mentality is very present:

    "If people do not care enough about themselves to do what it takes to maintain a healthy weight, then why should insurance companies care enough to pay."

    There is also a soft cost vs. hard cost analysis that happens.
    Dec 19, 2014. 11:25 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Belviq Television Ads Have Stopped [View instapost]
    One....

    LOL...

    I will certainly let people know. When I see them resume I will put a quick comment up here on this instablog.
    Dec 19, 2014. 11:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Contrave Sales Continue To Impress [View article]
    Investing....

    That was the tough step. Now the European Committee needs to put on its stamp of approval (somewhat of a formality). That is expected in early 2015. I have an article submitted....should be out soon
    Dec 19, 2014. 09:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Vivus Tries To Lead Obesity Space With Insurance Coverage [View article]
    Jakes....

    I do not invest in just anything. I simply separate my beliefs on prescription meds from the reality that exists in this world. Many people would rather have a pill.

    The black box is hogwash in that it is not a determining factor on how a drug sells.

    The irony is that Belviq carries warnings about suicide as well. Is one suicide worse than the other?

    The same 12 week and 5% warning exists with Belviq. Qsymia is a bit different in that it has a 3% at 12 week component.

    As stated, the aspect of this black box is overblown by some in the investment community and it is certainly misunderstood by many. You get one group (often an Arena investor)- saying "watch out for suicide on that drug" and at the same time saying that Belviq is "perfectly safe"....YET....The drug carries its own warnings.

    The ingredients in Contrave are very well understood. This lessens the risk, and doctors know how to council patients when trying these drugs. Belviq isa very new. There are still unknowns about it. That carries a risk factor in and of itself. I am not saying which is better. That depends on the patient. It could be any of them or none of them.
    Dec 19, 2014. 08:11 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Belviq Television Ads Have Stopped [View instapost]
    No problem....

    It is the type of thing I cover on my site, but figured at this stage it was worth letting other readers know.
    Dec 18, 2014. 10:05 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Vivus Tries To Lead Obesity Space With Insurance Coverage [View article]
    Readers....

    I have had a few people express confusion or ask questions about this.

    The CVS Caremark PDL is like a preferred vendors list for that insurer.

    CVS Caremark has covered both Belviq and Qsymia for over a year. As I stated, Qsymia has enjoyed a better tier than belviq with this insurer for a while now. You can see this in an instablog i wrote a few months ago on the subject.

    http://seekingalpha.co...

    The change this year is that Qsymia has made what equates to a preferred vendor list within the formulary.

    The preferred vendor is a decision by CVS Caremark based on efficacy and cost. Essentially, CVS Caremark has determined that the attributes of the combination of efficacy and cost of Qsymia are such that it made the PDL. Certainly another drug can be added. In the case of belviq, it would appear that the price point would need to come down in order to attain that status
    Dec 18, 2014. 09:50 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • EnteroMedics May Enter The Obesity Space - What Does It Mean? [View article]
    Kevin....

    The point I am making is that realistic expectations need to be set. let's not pretend that VBLOC is something "easier" than it is. Let's not pretend that VBLOc does not bring about a drastic diet change.

    A "permanent" pacemaker device has its own drawbacks. Food intake with Vbloc is substantially reduced. that is a drastic shift in diet.

    Vbloc has an appropriate audience, but it is not for everyone....not even close.

    Do you really believe that in the first 12 months of U.S. use that this will sell 11,000 times? Really? Would you stake everything you had on that?

    At what point will 11,000 procedures per year in the U.S. be hit in your opinion? 2 years? 3 years, 4 years?

    Meanwhile what happens in that timeframe in the overall sector. Remember, this system brings about 10% weight loss. There are other avenues that people can and will consider that can bring about the same results.

    AACE guidelines.

    Step 1. Lifestyle modification
    Step 2. Pharmacological solution
    Step 3. Surgery

    This stock is a long way away from being the $25 stock you tout. You have also touted $20, $15, etc. You have kind of been all over the map in that sense.

    This company needs to make some SERIOUS strides before the equity will be taken as seriously as that. They could DRASTICALLY improve their message by simply cleaning up their website. It is an EMBARASSMENT:

    1. Statements about the recharge study where they refer the reader to the study via a link. Click on the link and you go nowhere.

    2. No tab icon for any web pages. Even the smallest of companies knows this basic function, yet ETRM lacks it. It shows a lack of commitment to putting out a full effort in advancing the company. You may read this and think that it is stupid. What is stupid is that they have not addressed this.

    3. The "newsroom" tab brings you to 2011 for news. This tells me that the company last did a real website upgrade in 2011. We are now almost in 2015.

    Frankly, the website, in its current condition, would scare away the big money investors that the company will want to attract. It is something simple, yet they have not taken care of it.

    One step at a time. Let's see 1,000 patients before we start talking about 11,000. The $15 to $20 pump posts are the WORST thing for this stock. This equity will never get out of its own way if unrealistic expectations are outlined.
    Dec 18, 2014. 07:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EnteroMedics May Enter The Obesity Space - What Does It Mean? [View article]
    DD.....

    valuation can be a tricky this. So can capturing 5% of a given market.

    Example....In the world of the Internet, seeing 1/10 of 1% click-through on an ad is considered awesome.

    I like enthusiasm, but I dwell in what is realistic.

    Let's look at the U.S.

    5% of 220k is 11,000. Is it realistic to think that 1,000 specialized procedures for the VBLOC device each month is on the radar screen? We gotta take one step at a time.
    Dec 18, 2014. 05:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Contrave Sales Continue To Impress [View article]
    Investing...

    Contrave is on the agenda. If they are making the decision this month, tomorrow would be the day. That is what is anticipated.
    Dec 18, 2014. 05:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Vivus Tries To Lead Obesity Space With Insurance Coverage [View article]
    Jakes...

    It has not been a few months. It has been 8 weeks, 1 of which was a partial week, and two of which were impacted by a snafu in filling.

    IMS did a substantial study on long term trajectory based on just 16 weeks of data. The confidence level in that study is high.

    Eclipsing 5,000 scripts in this sector ths quickly is impressive. It is too early to assess refills, but there is no denying that they are getting people to try.

    The "black box" argument is th biggest farce that I have seen. Six out of the top 10 selling drugs of 2013 have a black box. Every antidepressant since 2004 has a black box. Bupropion, an ingredient in Contrave, is an antidepressant. Are you aware that belviq carries suicide warnings? Are you aware that as a scheduled substance the subs warning on a label has a black box around it?

    The black box mantra is message board hogwash.

    You are now essentialy pushing me to the point that you seem to do about every month. All of these drugs have very terrible effects that are possible. I am not a fan of any of them.
    Dec 18, 2014. 03:54 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Vivus Tries To Lead Obesity Space With Insurance Coverage [View article]
    Jakes....

    According to IMS studies, the trajectory established in the first 16 weeks of launch will outline the likely path that the drug will sell over time. The Contrave launch has indeed been impressive in terms of script numbers. How that translates to revenue success is another matter. Of course, we are only 8 weeks in with a snafu in the first two weeks, but the trajectory is indeed impressive.
    Dec 17, 2014. 10:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Vivus Tries To Lead Obesity Space With Insurance Coverage [View article]
    Value...

    No worries. I have thick skin. I can be snide at times, but as you say...it is what it is.

    Vivus has had flat sales with regard to Qsymia. The company has challenges in that it does not have a partner to help advance the drug. There are many ways in which the company has the most transparency in the sector, but other ways where things are not so transparent.

    I think one of the biggest things the company could do right now is give further insight on its Stendra deal. The street does not have a crystal clear idea of how revenue from this deal is derived.

    The emergence of Contrave at a very low price point is challenging as well. Vivus can simply not compete in getting consumer pull with a small marketing force and a higher price point than Contrave.
    Dec 17, 2014. 07:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Vivus Tries To Lead Obesity Space With Insurance Coverage [View article]
    Jim....

    Likely the biggest bang for the buck is simply PHEN.
    Dec 17, 2014. 09:13 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Vivus Tries To Lead Obesity Space With Insurance Coverage [View article]
    dax....

    I suspect there are already a couple of insurers that get better rates....but yes, this strategy should be going on all the time. I know Vivus has been doing it.

    I think that market pricing is in the domain of Eisai, but that Arena has some input into the decision.

    The $125 was simply me being too kind I guess. While most pay $150 or more, there are a few tier 2 insurers that cover. You know how it works....If I do not use the absolute best conditions for anything related to arena, my wife and children get threatened.
    Dec 16, 2014. 08:47 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
COMMENTS STATS
7,669 Comments
5,995 Likes