PHARMACY

Sanofi to acquire Bioverativ for $11.6B

BY David Salazar

In a move aimed at growing its positioning in the rare disease space, Sanofi will be acquiring biopharmaceutical company Bioverativ. The French drugmaker will pay $105 per share — roughly $11.6 billion — in cash for the Waltham, Mass.-based maker of treatments for hemophilia and other rare blood disorders.

“With Bioverativ, a leader in the growing hemophilia market, Sanofi enhances its presence in specialty care and leadership in rare diseases, in line with its 2020 Roadmap, and creates a platform for growth in other rare blood disorders.  Together, we have a great opportunity to bring innovative medicines to patients worldwide, building on Bioverativ’s success in driving new standards of care with its extended half-life factor replacement therapies,” Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt said.  “Combined, we will continue to leverage our scientific know-how, disciplined focus and development expertise that best position us to drive value for our shareholders and create breakthrough treatments for patients.”

The hemophilia market is comprised of roughly $10 billion in annual sales with a patient population near 181,000, according to Evaluate Pharma. Bioverativ’s products Eloctate and Alprolix treat hemophilia A and B, respectively, generating $847 million in sales and $41 million in sales in 2016. Sanofi said that the method of treatment that Bioverativ’s products use, replacement therapy, will continue to be the standard in hemophilia care, and Bioverativ currently has a Phase 3 program testing a treatment for cold agglutinin disease, as well as other hemophilia research programs.

“We have expanded upon the success of Eloctate and Alprolix, which are making a difference in the lives of people with hemophilia every day, and built a pipeline of novel programs for people with rare blood disorders,” Bioverativ CEO John Cox said. “Sanofi brings proven capabilities and a global infrastructure, which we believe will help to more rapidly expand access to our medicines globally and further our mission of transforming the lives of people with rare blood disorders.”

The move also is part of Sanofi’s 2020 roadmap, which the company said includes a reshaping of its portfolio to find treatment areas where it can establish itself as a leader. Sanofi said it expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to its earnings per share in the 2018 fiscal year, as up to 5% accretive in FY2019.

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PHARMACY

Lupin intros generic Vibra-Tabs

BY David Salazar

Lupin has introduced its generic Vibra-Tabs (doxycycline hyclate). The company’s generic will be available in 100-mg dosage strength tablets.

Lupin’s generic of Pfizer’s Vibra-Tabs is indicated to treat infections caused by various microorganisms, and as an adjunctive treatment for severe acne.

The product had U.S. sales of roughly $144 million for the 12 months ended November 2017, according to IQVIA data.

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PHARMACY

Study: SNAP can reduce cost-related nonadherence

BY David Salazar

New data from a study in the latest issue of the American Journal of Public Health is highlighting the impact that patient access to food assistance can have on medication adherence. For the study, IMPAQ Health researchers examined rates of cost-related nonadherence on patients enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program compared with eligible nonparticipants.

Among patients receiving SNAP benefits, cost-related nonadherence was found to be 4.8 percentage points less likely that those who didn’t receive benefits. Researchers noted that the impact of SNAP on adherence lapses related to cost was even more pronounced among older recipients who were food insecure.

“The high cost of prescription medication can lead to tradeoffs between medication and other necessities, such as food or utilities,” study lead author and co-principal investigator Mithuna Srinivasan said. “This, in turn, can manifest as cost-related nonadherence, including such behaviors as skipping or stopping medications due to cost. While SNAP’s primary goal is to improve access to food, we wanted to test whether the program might help older adults better afford their prescription medications, conceivably by reducing out-of-pocket expenditures on food.”

Currently, between 40% and 45% of eligible low-income adults participate in SNAP. Researchers added that potential stigma around SNAP could be mitigated by reframing it as a healthy subsidy program. The study also notes that that payers and health systems could consider screening patients for food insecurity, offering referrals to organizations offering enrollment assistance for SNAP and other programs. It also suggests that payers consider reimbursing health systems for food security screenings and referrals.

However, as much as SNAP helped, it can’t eliminate nonadherence related to cost entirely.

“More efforts are needed to overcome the financial barriers to medication adherence than SNAP can address on its own,” co-principal investigator Jennifer Pooler said.

The read the study, click here.

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