Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Novartis Multiple Sclerosis Pill Loses Market Share as Doctors Become Wary - Bloomberg

Novartis AG (NOVN)’s Gilenya multiple sclerosis pill lost market share for the first time in January, following the deaths of some patients soon after taking the first pill available for the disease in the U.S.

Gilenya’s share of the U.S. market for so-called immunomodulatory drugs against MS fell to 6.1 percent from 6.2 percent in December, according to data from Wolters Kluwer NV (WKL), a market research company. The decline was the first after 15 months of growth, at a median of 15 percent a month, since the treatment received U.S. regulatory approval in September 2010.

The Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency are investigating 11 deaths among Gilenya patients. In the past month, analysts have cut their forecasts for peak sales of Gilenya by 10 percent to $2.1 billion in 2016, according to the average of six estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The deaths have “made me a little more cautious,” said Aaron Miller, chief medical officer of the U.S. National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and a medical director at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. “I am not somebody who has recommended Gilenya as a first-line drug prior to these reports, and I’m still not recommending it as a first-line drug until we get more data.”

Miller has about 800 patients under his care and has put about 30 on Gilenya since it was approved, he said. He prefers injectable drugs, which include products such as Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA)’s Copaxone and Biogen Idec Inc.’s Tysabri as first-line treatments.

Posted via email from Jack's posterous

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