Sovaldi uptake strong despite pricing controversy

33,672 prescriptions for Gilead's (GILD) Hep C treatment Sovaldi were filled in the first 12 weeks of commercial availability. Sales could reach $5B the first year making it the most successful pharmaceutical product launch ever.

Profit margins of insurers such as Molina Healthcare (MOH) and Express Scripts (ESRX) will be under pressure as the demand for the highly-effective drug skyrockets in tandem with no competition.

Gilead faces criticism from certain observers over its $84,000 full regimen price.

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Comments (9)
  • Leonard Yaffe
    , contributor
    Comments (168) | Send Message
    I attended a liver disease conference recently and my impressions are as follows:
    There was tremendous enthusiasm for Gilead's Sovaldi in treating genotype 2 patients, and the Sovaldi/Olysio combination for genotype 1.
    Doctors are extremely positive on the upcoming combo of Gilead's FDC for genotype 1. I would expect the Cosmos data on Sovaldi/Olysio at the EASL meeting to be favorable, but I think this combo will largely disappear after the FDC is approved.
    Of the other regimens, there was interest in Merck's, which should be available in H2 2015.
    Doctors are treating many patients and they have not seen a fall off in demand. Insurers are approving most prescription requests, although it does take nurse discussion time.
    With the approval of the next generation of regimens, eliminating both ribavirin and interferon, doctors expect patient volumes to increase for at least 5 years.
    The extreme trading volatility experienced in March across the mid-cap pharmaceutical sector is likely to continue (I attribute it to high-frequency trading, which in my opinion is NOT what its supporters claim it is), and necessitates those of us with strong stomachs (Prilosec, Zantac, Pepcid) to take advantage of temporary weakness in our favorite names.
    1 Apr 2014, 11:39 AM Reply Like
  • Theway123
    , contributor
    Comments (12) | Send Message
    Len, EU Q1 sovaldi sales data?
    2 Apr 2014, 03:26 PM Reply Like
  • JAC92651
    , contributor
    Comments (78) | Send Message
    Len, thanks for the comments, today my stomach settled some as I think the downtrend may be coming to an end. The high-frequency traders are going to shift to the positive soon in my opinion. Going to keep my positions and potentially add to them. jesse
    1 Apr 2014, 04:47 PM Reply Like
  • Leonard Yaffe
    , contributor
    Comments (168) | Send Message
    The volatility will continue until it either ends badly or is legislated away. Gilead reports Q1 results in 3 weeks, and I expect them to be favorable. More importantly, the updates coming out of the EASL (liver disease) conference in London should be positive. Perhaps I'll relax a little and take the Prilosec with a Bourbon chaser! Len
    1 Apr 2014, 07:05 PM Reply Like
  • BioNoob
    , contributor
    Comments (175) | Send Message
    $GILD Thanks for the dip Waxman, backed up the trucked and loaded up on $68-71 shares. I'm expecting a positive response when the first quarter report comes official numbers near the end of April.
    2 Apr 2014, 02:29 AM Reply Like
  • JAC92651
    , contributor
    Comments (78) | Send Message
    I think the pullback off of the 20 day SMA today will result in a higher low, followed by a ramp up to earnings - and a new high - just one scenario but my most likely.
    2 Apr 2014, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • combatcorpsmanVN
    , contributor
    Comments (1357) | Send Message
    When the critics complain about the cost of Sovaldi; they should research and print in their response the cost of traditional treatments for HEP C.


    The up-to-now HEP C treatment had horrendous side effects, were administered intravenously, and had low efficacy (if the patient didn't refuse the treatment in the first place).


    Show me where 96% efficacy in a formerly no effective remedy situation is 'too expensive'


    Some critics raise truly asinine objections!
    2 Apr 2014, 08:31 PM Reply Like
  • pemarangshar
    , contributor
    Comments (14) | Send Message
    News from Japan and the math for 2m+ patients - at $50,ooo each - regardless of bmy jnj mrk abbv adjuctive therapy - as for warehousing try telling someone who has the 50k that they should wait to stop a rapidly replicating virus - that btw can be transmitted by something as simple as using your infected partners toothbrush - time for dr Pasteur to reincarnate
    3 Apr 2014, 09:07 AM Reply Like
  • stevez24
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    PBM's are trying to prevent patients from receiving an oral drug with a high efficacy rate>97%. If Gilead had sold Sovaldi as a specialty drug & required dispensing through the PBM pharmacies, there would be no uproar.
    8 Apr 2014, 06:38 AM Reply Like
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