Just how much Mylan’s generic of 40-mg multiple sclerosis blockbuster Copaxone ends up hurting Teva depends on the knockoff’s pricing, and on Monday one analyst offered a window into how things are playing out so far.
Mylan is serving up 25% to 30% discounts versus the “prevailing price” on the original med, Bernstein’s Ronny Gal wrote to clients, cautioning that “it is not quite done.” And Teva, meanwhile, is countering, he noted.
Mylan touted its generic Copaxone approval last week, surprising analysts and investors, many of whom had written off the long-delayed copy until next year. It launched right away, piling the pain on Teva, which has relied on the specialty asset, particularly as its generics business suffers.
The Israeli drugmaker is in line for a dented top-line haul in the fourth quarter, Gal added, thanks to larger-than-normal upfront orders of Mylan’s med. The reason? Some buyers fear that an injunction could come out of the patent tussle happening between the two companies, putting supplies of the cheaper med at risk.
Unfortunately for Teva, the 40-mg Copaxone copy wasn’t the only approval Mylan won last week. It also snagged a go-ahead for a version of Teva’s original Copaxone formulation, a 20-mg dose that became the market’s second generic behind Glatopa from Novartis’ Sandoz.
With more players in the mix on the 20-mg front, “the payers are trying to start a three-way bidding war,” Gal wrote, adding that “Sandoz is disadvantaged and thus may offer deeper discounts.”
The Copaxone generics ended what had been a short streak of positive news for Teva, which recently named a new CEO and inked a debt-easing asset sale pact. Before that, the company suffered for months through dwindling sales, executive departures, layoff announcements, dividend-slashing and more.