Must-read: Richard Mayhew: “The Sovaldi that Wasn’t”

Must-Read: Richard Mayhew: The Sovaldi that Wasn’t: “Last summer every insurer in the country was rerunning their models on how the next wave of cholesterol drugs…

…were going to blow up the cost structure… inhibitors… priced at over $1,000 per month…. The specific on-label use… were for a… subset… with high cholesterol… genetic markers and clinical indicators…. We got that one wrong…. “A surge in sales of pricey new cholesterol treatments is unlikely to materialize this year, contrary to the previous expectations of Express Scripts Holding, an executive from the largest manager of U.S. drug benefits said on Friday.”…

This is intriguing. It may be a blip or it could be a portent of a significant change in provider behavior.  If it is blip, disregard the rest. There is a possibility that providers are becoming price aware…. The big fear with the new inhibitors was that they would be widely prescribed for a much broader population of people than the clinically significant group…. That is the entire point of the pharmaceutrical advertising industry, to get providers prescribing higher cost medications for marginal cases.


Brad DeLong


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