Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

How Much Can Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS), Arena Pharma (NASDAQ:ARNA) Charge for Diet Pills?


With two weight-loss drugs hitting the US market in coming months, pricing will be important.

Editor's note: This story originally ran August 10. Vivus announced September 18 that it began selling its diet pill Qsymia. The drug costs roughly $4 to $6 a pill, depending on dose.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARNA) Chief executive Jack Lief told CNBC a couple of months ago that his company's newly approved diet pill Belviq would cost about the same as a Starbucks venti latte.

Though Lief has yet to elaborate, the implication is that Arena's obesity drug will cost between $3.50 and $4 a dose. Likewise, rival Vivus (VVUS) is mum about the price of its just-approved diet drug Qsymia. Both drugs are considered potential blockbusters, and CEOs of both companies have said they understand the importance of pricing their medicines competitively. Neither drug is marketed yet. Japanese drug maker Eisai will sell the drug in the US under a license agreement.

Earlier this week, Vivus CEO Leland Wilson said he was sensitive to the pricing issue as patients will likely have to pay out of pocket until insurance plans decide on whether to cover the new weight-loss treatments. (See Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS) Diet Pill Sales May Be Slow Out of the Gate.)

Cowen & Co. analyst Simos Simeonidis uses $3.50 per pill as a base price to estimate the cost per patient taking Vivus' Qsymia. That annual cost is about $1,300 per patient. Assuming Vivus launches its drug in the fourth quarter, Simeonidis estimates Qsymia will have $159 million in sales in 2013, a number that will double by 2014. He predicts the drug will exceed $1 billion in annual sales by 2017.
< Previous
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Videos