China and Russia have become new targets for compulsory-licensing campaigns as an activist group widens its global challenge to Gilead's expensive Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) hepatitis C drug.
A patient denied the latest hepatitis C drugs has sued her insurance company. In this case, it's Anthem Blue Cross, and the California plaintiff says her plan blocked her from treatment because she's not sick enough to qualify under its rules.
When it comes to Big Pharma's reputation, "average" says it all. That's the story from the research firm Reputation Institute, which perennially puts major drugmakers right smack in the middle of its scorecard. In other words, pharma is a C student.
Gilead and its controversially expensive Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) hepatitis C drug is set to gain a major new market, Japan and its half-million people with the type the drug treats, though other major drugmakers are in or eyeing the same market.
Gilead Sciences has been able to withstand scathing criticism at home over the prices of its hep C cures, negotiate with stingy price watchdogs abroad and face down criticism in developing countries by giving generics producers access to formulations and technology. But can it stand up to a possible attack by the U.S. military?
Gilead Sciences has moved into epigenetic research by acquiring EpiTherapeutics for $65 million (€57 million) in cash. The deal gives it access to science originated at a team headed by Kristian Helin, a lauded oncology epigenetics expert and founder of Denmark's Biotech Research and Innovation Centre.
It's fitting that Gilead's star hep C drug Harvoni is grabbing the spotlight in its first direct-to-consumer TV ads. The television, print and digital ad campaign--tagged "I am Ready"--began April 20 and will run through the end of the year, said David Johnson, Gilead VP, U.S. sales and marketing for liver diseases, in an email interview.
It's the big numbers that tend to make headlines during earnings season: Overall sales, top-selling meds, and, of course, earnings per share. Some closely watched new drugs have a moment in the sun, too. But other launches? Barely a glimpse--if any at all. Here's a roundup of the launch stats that caught our eyes.
Gilead Sciences brushed aside any concerns about the effects of discounting of superseller hepatitis C drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni by blasting past analysts' earnings estimates of how much the drugs would sell, total revenues, earnings per share, and just about any other measure the markets could dig up. And flush with cash, Gilead execs say, it just may be time to go out and buy some stuff.
While pharma's been riding its deal wave, Gilead's been off on its own, coasting on new revenue from blockbuster hep C launches Sovaldi and Harvoni. But one analysts thinks the time is ripe for it to get in on the M&A; action--and he's tabbed Vertex as a prime target.