The decision by Express Scripts ESRX +1.69% to make the AbbVie ABBV -1.09%
hepatitis C treatment the exclusive option for patients with the most
common type of the virus caused a ruckus on Wall Street, although the
reaction among some doctors and patient advocates was mixed.
For Gilead Sciences GILD -14.34%,
the market leader in hepatitis C drugs, the move by the big pharmacy
benefits manager was the proverbial bitter pill. Gilead shares plunged
14% to $92.90, wiping out more than $20 billion in market capitalization
over expectations of a big hit to sales.
“The impact of the deal is clearly a negative for Gilead,” writes
Sanford Bernstein analyst Geoff Porges in an investor note. But he
maintains that impact may be blunted because the deal may only affect 8%
of Americans infected with the disease, and even then not all will be
eligible for the new AbbVie drug called Viekira Pak.
Labels: Abbvie, Gilead, prices wars