Given the recent issues surrounding script numbers personally I think that AVNR investors would be well served to give this issue another month if not even longer before forming any conclusions based on IMS and/or HA numbers as to whether numbers are up or down. Here's why.....
Given the enormous scope of these changes and the number of people impacted it's entirely possible that in the month of January and through now there might not be some people or facilities complying with these changes yet. And so, what we might be seeing is a mixture of things going on with some still operating the old way and some complying with the changes.
I think we are being VERY generous to assume that simply because these rules changed on a certain date that everyone in the country knew about them and started complying with them. That's just simply not how things work and we're probably lucky if 70% of them are doing that. What tells me this is probably the case is if you think back to early January there was the week that HA was reporting a VERY large increase in script # percentages. IMS that same week was basically flat.
We wrote it off as being retail versus LTC but who really knows if that's the case? It could simply be HA was capturing data that IMS wasn't from various sources.
This could actually have a couple of different effects. The numbers we've seen could actually have been weeks that were improved upon more than some are giving credit for now. In other words..if 30% of those 14 day scripts were really 30 day ones then a larger part of the totals we've seen WOULD have been increases which perhaps coincided with the Commericals.
If that is the case though...then we might see some growth over the next month or two that really isn't growth but rather those doctors and facilities falling into line with the new rules.
Personally, I think it all adds up to everything we've seen recently..and WILL see over the next 30 to 60 days..should be treated with a degree of skepticism.
What i DO think is happening though is that generally speaking..I think script #'s are moving up.
I simply don't see how the commercials aren't having at least some impact given their scope and how many people they're reaching.
I have always said here on this board that these services should be treated with some caution. Even they will say themselves that there's a lot they don't capture. I think that's more true than ever right now given this enormous change in the industry.
In any event..for those die hard fans who live and die by these numbers I would at least give this 2 months from today and basically until the co's next conf. call to see what they've come up with in terms of numbers and a baseline.
It's going to take at LEAST that long for the industry to work through this change IMO.
Your points are well taken Trade. I also think about the LTC penetration that AVNR says they have. If that info is true, then there is a lot of upside in scripts coming just in LTC facilities where AVNR has existing sales relationships not to mention the ones where the have not yet scratched the surface.