Gilead's Sovaldi sales through the roof already, analyst predicts at least $8B this year
Hep C product on target to unseat Lipitor as the biggest-selling drug ever
March 7, 2014 | By Carly Helfand
With a revolutionary approach to hepatitis C and a price tag of $84,000 per 12-week treatment course, analysts expected big sales from Gilead's ($GILD) Sovaldi. Some even forecast it would reach $9 billion or more by 2017, at which level it would surpass Pfizer's ($PFE) Lipitor to take the crown for biggest-selling drug of all time. But none expected the exponential growth the drug is posting right now.
New Sovaldi prescriptions were up 20% week-over-week for the week ended Feb. 28--the 12th week of Gilead's launch. And according to ISI Group analyst Mark Schoenebaum, that has current projections looking rather slim.
"If prescriptions were to NEVER GROW AGAIN (i.e. flat-line from here), I estimate that 2014 sales will be $8B. If scrips grow an average of 1.5% week over week, I estimate that 2014 sales will be about $11B.
And as RBC analyst Michael Yee notes, Sovaldi's weekly total prescriptions are tracking 114% higher than
what Incivek--a Vertex ($VRTX) hep C drug that holds the title for fastest drug launch ever after raking in $1.56 billion in four quarters--did in its first full quarter of launch.