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Jim Cramer Interviews NPS Pharmaceuticals’ CEO On Orphan Drug Gattex’s $295,000 Price Tag: CNBC Video

January 8, 2013

       CNBC’s Jim Cramer interviews on January 7, 2013, Dr. Francois Nader, NPS Pharmaceuticals’ President and CEO, on the topic of the recent controversial pricing of orphan drug Gattex (Tedglutide) at $295,000/person/year.

Some of the interesting points from the CNBC interview video :

1) Per Dr. Nader :

– 100% of payers would reimburse for Gattex

– 76% of physicians would prescribe Gattex independent of the price

– 100% of patients would try Gattex.

2) 60% of Gattex patients have commercial insurance & 40% have government plans like Medicare

3) NPS Pharmaceuticals has a Patient Assistance Program available

4) In the US, there are 3,000 – 5,000 SBS patients

5) By the end of 2013, there will be 200 – 300 patients on Gattex in the US

6) Per Dr. Nader, Gattex is in the mid-range price range compared to other orphan drugs.

On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, at the 31st Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, NPS Pharmaceuticals will have a live webcast of their presentation at 9:00 AM Pacfic Standard Time/12:00 Noon EST (NY).

On December 21, 2012, the FDA approves Gattex for the ultra-rare orphan disease, Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS).

On January 2, 2013, NPS Pharmaceuticals’ President and CEO, Dr. Francois Nader, discusses the FDA approval of orphan drug Gattex (Teduglutide) for Short Bowel Syndrome and identifies the price as US $295,000/patient/year – more than 3 times what analysts expect. The pricing of Gattex is resulting in debate about its price and the price of orphan drugs in general.

According to a January 3, 2013, Forbes.com article, Gattex is the 4th drug that is approved in 2012 with a price tag of > US $200,000/patient/year. The other 3 drugs are :

– Kalydeco (Ivacaftor) for Cystic Fibrosis (Vertex Pharmaceuticals) – $294,000

– Elelyso for Gaucher Disease (Protalix BioTherapeutics & Pfizer) – $150,000

– Juxtapid (Lomitapide) for Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia (Aegerion Pharmaceuticals) – $200,000 – $300,000.

The Forbes.com article also reviews the methodology and reasoning for the how and why of NPS Pharmaceuticals’ pricing of Gattex. The article concludes that NPS Pharmaceuticals’ pricing and launch strategy for Gattex is similar to what other rare disease companies have done – Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Genzyme, and BioMarin.

References

Forbes.com January 3, 2013 article titled, “Inside the Pricing of a $300,000-A-Year Drug”

Reuters.com January 3, 2013 article titled, “Analysis: Entering the age of the $1 Million Medicine”.

TheStreet.com January 3, 2013 article titled, “NPS Pharma: Controversy Over Super-Expensive Orphan Drug Prices”

Copyright © 2012-2013, Orphan Druganaut Blog. All rights reserved.

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