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Opko Health, Inc. Message Board

  • farryman008 farryman008 Dec 11, 2013 12:08 PM Flag

    John Cannell Answered

    As usual I am only competent to comment on Lakewood's assessment of Rayaldy, OPKO's vitamin D drug. In their article, Lakewood despairingly referred to me as a psychiatrist, which is true. They could have also accurately referred to me as an emergency room physician or a GP, both of which I have been in my career. The fact is I have been the executive director of the Vitamin D Council for 11 years, during which time I written and published more than 15 peer reviewed scientific articles on vitamin D, three of which are the most cited articles in the history of their respectful journals.

    It is also true that I am a retail investor and not a professional investor, a point I made clear in my article. I am not an expert in investing; I am an expert in vitamin D.

    I found it interesting that Lakewood did not argue that Rayaldy will fail to get FDA approval; they seemed to accept that as a foregone conclusion. I agree. The phase 2 trials were so positive and the FDA's interest in the drug so obvious, I agree with Lakewood implicit admission that Rayaldy will be on the market sometime in 2015.

    What I disagree with, and what any vitamin D expert will confirm, is what drug will compete with Rayaldy? Lakewood asserts it will be over the counter (OTC) vitamin D3, which is available now. If Lakewood's contention were true, kidney failure patients would already be taking OTC vitamin D and they are not. The fact is that OTC drugs simply do not compete with prescription drugs and never have. Both patients and doctors expect a prescription after an expensive consultation, an unfortunate fact of modern medical care and one the FDA implicitly acknowledged by fast tracking Rayaldy.

    Lakewood also contends that prescription activated vitamin D (calcitriol) marketed under trade names Rocaltrol (Roche) and Calcijex (Abbott), or similar calcitriol analogues, like Hectoral, will compete with Rayaldy.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

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