Novartis' Cosentyx price sets the stage for psoriasis battle

A revolution is happening in psoriasis treatment, and Novartis ($NVS) was the company to get it started with next-gen therapy Cosentyx, approved earlier this year. And the Swiss drugmaker in January set a list price it hoped would help turn the tide.

Novartis' David Epstein

The pharma giant announced plans to price Cosentyx "largely on par" with Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) Stelara--a blockbuster med it beat out in a head-to-head trial last year. It's a move that meant to "accelerate market access of that brand," company pharma chief David Epstein said at the time.

After all, Novartis was--and still is--working to build up Cosentyx' market share before other newcomer treatments come around. Competitors including Eli Lilly ($LLY), J&J and Merck & Co. ($MRK) are working on their own next-gen meds, some of which will reach the FDA's decision desk in the not-too-distant future. More