"Cheaper is better" doesn't tend to be applied to health care, which is why health prices have been exploding. People care too much about their health to cut corners.
Although the data appears statistically inconclusive (not a large enough sample to test for this size effect), the trends do suggest an improvement. The fact that a 10mg dose of Lexapro is equivalent to a 40 mg does of Celexa suggests that Lexapro is not simply the active half of Celexa but that the other isomer was actually having negative effects (or at least partially blocking the active isomer). The trends in the side effects also support this interpretation.
The total side effects reported were:
70.5% for placebo,
79.0% for lexapro 10 mg,
85.6% for lexapro 20 mg, and
86.4% for celexa 40 mg.
The drop-out rate due to adverse side effects were:
2.5% for placebo,
4.2% for lexapro 10 mg,
10.4% for lexapro 20 mg, and
8.8% for celexa 40 mg.
So the 10mg Lexapro appears to have had less side effects than the comparable 40mg Celexa (half the drop-out rate!). But since the sample wasn't large enough to test if this effect is statistically significant (if more patients were tested, the effect may have disappeared), this has to be taken cautiously. One possible scenario is that the inactive isomer is inactive at the therapeutic site (the 5-HT receptor) but equally active at the sites causing the side effects. Anyway, if I was a patient, I'd pay a bit extra for the Lexapro.
Note: this data was from a website, not from the original report so it could have errors. I haven't been able to locate the original report yet. Anyone have a citation?
there are a few drugs in the pipeline that will make a lot of money for Forest, They are great at spotting drugs which will beat the estimates. This drug for alcoholics will do very well, probably better than people expect. So will Namenda, wait til we see what happens with that. .....and there are others in the pipeline. I bet these new drugs will help compensate and then some for Celexa.
My friend, I think you are missing the point. If Celexa was not an issue we would not have seen FRX stock price cut nearly fifty percent from this year's high. The bet, rather longer term at that, is for celexa to be only a speed bump. In short your concern is already priced in.
Keep in mind that some insurances will stop (limit?) covering Celexa once the generic becomes available.
If I was a patient taking Celexa I would switch to Lexapro. However, if I did not switch yet, and I did have enough time to consider (Lexapro was introduced 9/02) what will make me switch now. Generics have lower co-payments. Same thing, but cheaper. As I understand consumer, "cheaper is better" (china is importing and we are closing down factories). I personally do not agree with that strategy, but if I was on a fixed income.... who knows.
I just can not see the 29% of Celexa's prescriptions will shift over to Lexapro, thus making it a 76% contributor to sales. Considering all remains the same.
I own FRX and will not sell yet. It is a very profitable cash-rich pharma.
As of most recent quarter...
"The company attributed the revenue growth to increased sales of its brand-name antidepressants Lexapro and Celexa, which generated sales of $414.9 million and $256.4 million, respectively. Forest also reported strong sales of its Alzheimer's Namenda, which took in $80.8 million."
You see? Out of 880 million rev, Lexapro is 47%. and celexa 29%. You see the company is rather successful in trending celexa down.
With a Bush win in the offing, you might have just miss the low to buy in today...
You r absolutely right, there are other drugs that frx sells. BUT in terms of total sales those are miniscule as per financial statement for FYE 2004.
Generic Tiazac 1.34%
There is no info on other drugs in the FS2004, thus the other 14.62% represents ALL other income from sales. If Celexa is replaced by new generic and not Lexapro (up to the hospitals and MDs) frx WILL have a large decline in sales.
Okay...it's pretty clear that the managed care companies realize that Celexa and Lexapro are the same drug. Just wait until generic celexa becomes a bottom tier $5 co-pay drug and Lexapro becomes a third-tier $40 co-pay drug. You think that won't affect Lexapro growth???? And if FRX wants to keep Lexapro at its current tier, don't you think there will have to be some price concessions made by FRX????? They're in trouble. Memantine is there but the growth curve is flatter than flat. The pipeline is filled with a bunch of me-toos that are very late to the party..
Yes, it is amazing how people react to any News ! FRX sets record high and develop new products and stock does not go up. But a generic company makes a bit of competition and it drops. Based on the industry segment and PE it is a 95 dollar stock.