Good post Rook. With no competition until now, GILD pricing could be pretty inelastic. I believe management has a strategy to take the price down in response to ABBV depending on the uptake that ABBVs product sees. I would expect pricing to come in much lower and closer to what has been negotiated for Solvaldi in Europe ( I think I saw and article that France had negotiated $50K ish). this is significantly lower than what is paid here in the US and I would expect a corresponding reduction in Harvoni - if GILD NEEDS to take the price down. Superior products do command superior prices. GILD management will monitor sales and adjust accordingly. With 150M people infected worldwide and 3M in the USA, I think the market is huge and we are very early in seeing it develop.
What surprises me most about this agreement is that ESRX signed a multi-year exclusive deal with ABBV. Given the pricing latitude that GILD obviously has ($50 ish K for Solvaldi in France), I am not sure I would want to be tied to ABBV longer term with a price that appears to be higher than what GILD has offered elsewhere. I am not adding to my position at this point because I don't want any further exposure, but it does look like another good buying opportunity here.
One topic that does not seem to come up much on the board is Gilead management. Although, i agree with the concern of competition in the HCV space, I think there is another factor to be considered. How has management decided to respond to that competition. GILD management certainly knows there is competition and most definitely understands how ABBV's product will perform better than anyone on this board does. I believe they already have a plan as to how they are going to respond both from a marketing and pricing perspective to the introduction of ABBV's drug. I believe that their guidance reflects those plans and hopefully the analysts understand that too. I think how management responds and how effectively they have assessed the ABBV product and their pricing strategy will really be the key to the financials. I don't think we will know that until earnings are released next year. I am long the stock and am betting that GILD management has it under control and that we will be happily rewarded for our patience. Clearly the product works and GILD was first to market - I like GILD's chances going forward. Just my two cents on a Friday.