The hepatitis C market is breaking new ground all over the place. As payers put the squeeze on Gilead Sciences and AbbVie for discounts in the U.S., England's National Health Service is delaying a broad rollout of Gilead's blockbuster Sovaldi till July, citing the drug's high cost--an unprecedented move on a treatment already blessed by the country's cost-effectiveness watchdogs.
Gilead Sciences is gaining ground in its hep C pricing battle with AbbVie. One week after the drugmaker joined forces with Anthem to make Harvoni the primary option for the PBM's 30 million patients, Gilead inked similar deals with Humana and Harvard Pilgrim, edging out its competitor and raising the stakes in the companies' ongoing war.
AbbVie picked up FDA approval for Duopa, an extended-release combination of two standard Parkinson's disease treatments that relies on an external pump.
On his company's Q3 conference call back in October, AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez told investors the pharma was in an even stronger position today than before it announced its failed $55 billion merger with Ireland's Shire. But with low-cost competitors ready to sink their teeth into the drugmaker's top products, 2015 adjusted earnings may miss analysts' forecasts.
Gilead is joining forces with Anthem, the biggest provider of health coverage to U.S. businesses, to make Harvoni the primary option for patients, setting the stage for a hep C showdown.
AbbVie investigators delivered a fresh set up promising results for a key late-stage drug in the pipeline. In the first of two Phase III studies, the company reports that both doses of elagolix scored statistically significant results for chronic and painful cases of endometriosis among pre-menopausal women.
It's no secret that Express Scripts Chief Medical Officer Steve Miller is hankering for some changes in the pharma business. But what many may not know, he told PharmExec, is that he's got a four-point solution to fix what he sees as the industry's biggest problems.
Pharma M&A in 2014 hit a record-breaking $234 billion in announced acquisitions. Actavis led the pack with its $66 billion bid for Botox maker Allergan and $25 billion buyout of Forest Laboratories. But investors and analysts say 2015 could generate as many or more deals, with Pfizer, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, AbbVie and Shire expected to be in the mix.
If 2014 was the year of the emboldened U.S. payer, then 2015 promises to be the year of the pharma negotiator.
Express Scripts may have warned the world that it would use its gatekeeper status to force big hepatitis C discounts. But when word of its exclusive, discounted deal with AbbVie actually hit on Monday, analysts went a-Twitter, biotech shares slid, other payers pricked up their ears--and media outlets went berserk.