Thursday, October 22, 2015

Merck Agrees To 25 Per Cent Remicade® Price Cut -- With British Government Payer -- To Counter Hospira And Celltrion Bio-Similars

Just as we have repeatedly predicted, Kenilworth has now struck a formal discount purchasing deal with the United Kingdom single-payer system, for its version of infliximab (which is branded as Remicade®), in order to slow erosion in both current market share, and new patient enrollment -- in the face of relentless bio-similar competition, there, in that ". . .blessed plot, th[at] earth, th[at] realm". . . . [Credit Sweet Will. And, recall that Merck's single largest retained geography on this franchise is the United Kingdom and the EU, after the settlement of the J&J arbitration (with the termination fight occasioned by the Schering-Plough yard sale). ]

All of this is (in my view) already well-factored into the NYSE trading price though, and so -- here is the Bloomberg overnight report -- and a most-salient bit:

. . . .Merck & Co. is dropping the price of its blockbuster arthritis medicine Remicade by 25 percent in the U.K. through discounts and rebates to retain market share after cheaper copies became available in February.

Merck is offering 48 million pounds in discounts and rebates to the U.K.’s National Health Service on the basis of about 191 million pounds in Remicade sales, the drugmaker’s Medical Affairs Director Colin Wheeler said in an interview Thursday. That compares with discounts of about 20 percent to 30 percent to the Remicade price offered by Napp Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Pfizer Inc.’s Hospira unit, which market a so-called biosimilar manufactured by South Korea’s Celltrion Inc., he said. . . .

Third quarter 2015 revenue by product-line results (as press released, and filed with the SEC) will certainly show a continuing erosion -- but the full force of this 25 per cent mark-down won't really appear until the fourth quarter 2015 results are released, in late January 2016.

Onward -- and no long faces, here this morning -- as those young Cubs were a delightful treat, from July, on -- wholly-unexpected and bouyant, despite the flame-out of a finish. There's always. . . next year. . . next year! I do now owe my Gotham-dwelling elder brother an extra large deep dish, with everything, as a result. Oh well. Smile. . . .

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