Wed, Jan. 14, 9:13 AM
- Express Scripts' (NASDAQ:ESRX) success in containing the prices of new HCV therapies by pitting Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) against AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) is sending shock waves through the biotech/pharma industry. Most of the big players slumped yesterday as investors fear that ESRX's tactics will spread to other high cost areas like cancer and cholesterol.
- At JPM15 yesterday, CEO George Paz said that the new cholesterol-lowering post-statin PCSK9 inhibitors will be the next big opportunity to pit drug firms against each other in order to drive costs down. FDA clearance of the first two therapies, one from Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and the other from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN) (NYSE:SNY), is expected to occur at about the same time.
- The prices of emerging cancer therapies will also be in payers' crosshairs. Amgen's Blincyto, for example, costs $178,000 per standard course of treatment while Merck's (NYSE:MRK) Keytruda is close behind at $150,000.
- Related tickers: (NYSE:AZN) (NYSE:GSK) (NYSE:LLY) (ABBV) (NYSE:PFE) (NASDAQ:BIIB) (NYSE:ABT) (NASDAQ:CELG) (NYSE:BMY) (OTCQX:RHHBY) (NYSE:JNJ) (NYSE:NVS) (OTCPK:BAYRY)
Thu, Jan. 8, 1:08 PM
Dec. 30, 2014, 4:09 PM
- Thinly-traded nano cap BG Medicine (NASDAQ:BGMD) jumps 63% on a massive 17x surge in volume in response the FDA clearance of the automated version of its galectin-3 test. The test will marketed by Abbott Laboratories' (NYSE:ABT) Diagnostics Division as part of the test menu of its Architect fully-automated immunoassay analyzer.
Dec. 22, 2014, 6:58 PM
- The DOJ has filed a False Claims Act complaint against Omnicare (NYSE:OCR), alleging the healthcare services firm "solicited and received millions of dollars in kickbacks" from drug giant Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) in exchange for "purchasing and recommending the prescription drug Depakote for controlling behavioral disturbances exhibited by dementia patients residing in nursing homes serviced by Omnicare."
- The complaint states Omnicare's pharmacists "reviewed nursing home patients’ charts at least monthly and made recommendations to physicians on what drugs should be prescribed for those patients," and that the company "touted its influence over physicians in nursing homes in order to secure kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies such as Abbott."
- OCR -0.8% AH.
Dec. 12, 2014, 12:22 PM
- Abbott Laboratories (ABT -0.7%) finalizes its takeout of Russian pharmaceutical firm Veropharm. It acquired control of the company via its purchase of the holding company, Limited Liability Company Garden Hills, that owned ~98% of Veropharm, for 16.7B rubles (~$305M).
- Previously: Abbott to buy Russian pharma company (June 23, 2014)
Dec. 12, 2014, 11:24 AM
Dec. 3, 2014, 12:06 PM
Nov. 25, 2014, 8:18 AM
- Pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) is at the forefront of an increasing wave of resistance to the high prices of new drugs from pharma and biotech firms, some which cost as much as $50K per month. Pharmaceutical spending in the U.S. is $270B and may breach $500B in five years. ESRX's method of controlling costs is to refuse to pay for them. For 2015, for example, it is excluding 66 branded drugs from its main formulary, an increase of 18 from 2014's 48. On the list is Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE:JNJ) rheumatoid arthritis drug Simponi (golimumab) which costs $3K per month.
- Other prescription benefits managers are employing similar tactics. CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) will exclude 95 drugs from its 2015 formulary including Pfizer's (NYSE:PFE) multiple sclerosis med Rebif (interferon beta-1a) which costs $5K for a four-week supply.
- Governments are pushing back as well. Among 42 state Medicaid programs, 27 pay for Gilead Sciences' HCV med Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) only for patients with severe liver damage while others impose coverage limitations for patients with recent substance-abuse problems. In the U.S., the full regimen cost is $84K. Recently, Britain's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) balked at recommending reimbursement for Roche's (OTCQX:RHHBY) blood cancer drug Gazyvaro (obinutuzumab).
- Ninety percent of commercial health plans require pre-approval of specialty drugs, up from 82% in 2011.
- Previously: Roche's Gazyvaro not NICE in the UK
- Previously: Global drug tab will breach trillion dollar mark this year
- ETFs: IBB, BIB, IRY, BIS, IXJ, DRGS
- Related tickers: (NYSE:NVS) (NYSE:AZN) (NASDAQ:AMGN) (NASDAQ:BIIB) (NASDAQ:CELG) (NYSE:LLY) (NYSE:SNY) (NYSE:ABT) (NYSE:ABBV) (NYSE:BMY) (NYSE:MRK) (NYSE:GSK)
Nov. 17, 2014, 9:16 AM
Oct. 27, 2014, 11:41 AM
- The FDA approves St. Jude Medical's (STJ -0.3%) TactiCath Quartz irrigated ablation catheter. The product gives physicians a real-time objective measure of the force that the catheter applies to a patient's heart wall during an ablation procedure. The technology is associated with a reduction in the rate of atrial fibrillation recurrence when optimal treatment measures are used.
- Related tickers: (BCR +1.2%)(MDT -0.1%)(JNJ +0.9%)(BSX +0.8%)(HNSN +2.1%)(ABT -0.6%)
Oct. 22, 2014, 12:24 PM
- In response to the changes in the tax code related to inversions, Abbott (ABT -1.1%) and Mylan (MYL -2.5%) adjust the terms of their $5.3B all-stock deal. The pricing terms related to product manufacturing and supply have been changed in favor of New Mylan and the number of shares of stock to be issued to Abbott have been increased to 110M from 105M.
- Former shareholders of Mylan will own ~78% of New Mylan and Abbott and its affiliates will own ~22%. The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2015.
Oct. 22, 2014, 11:31 AM
- The European Commission approves privately-held Switzerland-based Ferring Pharmaceuticals' Cortiment (budesonide) for the induction of remission in patients with active mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis. Budesonide is a locally acting glucocorticosteroid.
- Ferring licensed Cortiment from Cosmo Pharmaceuticals SpA for the EU, Asia (ex-Japan), Australia, Canada, Latin America and Africa. The product is sold under the brand name Uceris in the U.S. by Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP -0.2%).
- UC-related tickers: (NASDAQ:VBLX) (RCPT)(OTCPK:TKPHF)(OTCPK:TKPYY +0.2%)(ATHX +2.3%)(SHPG +1.3%)(PFE +0.7%)(ABT -0.4%)(ABBV +1.2%)(CNDO +1.1%)(JNJ +1%)(SGYP -3.2%)
Oct. 22, 2014, 8:25 AM
- Abbott (NYSE:ABT) Q3 results ($M): Total Revenues: 5,104 (+5.8%), Nutrition: 1,787 (+9.3%), Diagnostics: 1,180 (+4.9%), Established Pharmaceuticals: 771 (+11.5%), Medical Devices: 1,329 (-1.0%); COGS: 2,331 (+3.4%); R&D Expense: 307 (-9.4%); SG&A Expense: 1,603 (-0.6%); Net Income: 538 (-44.3%); EPS: 0.36 (-41.0%).
- Gross Profit: 2,773 (+7.9%); COGS: 45.7% (-2.3%); Gross Margin: 54.3% (+2.0%); Operating Profit: 863 (+39.4%); Operating Earnings Yield: 16.9% (+31.8%); Net Earnings Yield: 10.5% (-47.4%).
- 2014 Guidance: EPS: $1.22 - 1.24; non-GAAP EPS: $2.25 - 2.27 from $2.19 - 2.29.
- Q4 Guidance: EPS: $0.32 - 0.34; non-GAAP EPS: $0.68 - 0.70.
Oct. 22, 2014, 7:42 AM
Oct. 21, 2014, 5:30 PM
Oct. 21, 2014, 10:52 AM
- The FDA accepts Eli Lilly's NDA for empagliflozin plus immediate-release metformin hydrochloride for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D). The product is part of the Lilly/Boehringer Ingelheim Diabetes alliance portfolio.
- Empagliflozin is a sodium glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitor which removes excess glucose through the urine by blocking glucose reabsorption in the kidney. Metformin decreases the production of glucose in the liver and its absorption in the intestine and improves the body's ability to utilize glucose.
- The FDA approved Jardiance (empagliflozin) as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with T2D in August 2014. Metformin has been in clinical use for many years.
- Diabetes-related tickers: (JNJ +0.4%)(OTCQB:ISLT)(OTCQB:BTHE +20%)(VTAE +2.5%)(NVO +0.5%)(MRK +0.9%)(NASDAQ:VKTX)(HPTX +0.4%)(ABT +1.2%)(OTCPK:TKPHF)(OTCPK:TKPYY -0.5%)(MDT +1.7%)(SNY -0.2%)(OTCQB:SNYNF -0.5%)(MNKD +2.4%)(ALR +1.4%)(TNDM +3%)
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Abbott Laboratories discovers, develops, manufactures and sells health care products. Its products include branded generic pharmaceuticals manufactured internationally, marketed and sold outside the United States.
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