This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Arena Fans Spinning (And Altering) Belviq Prescription Data

ARNA Chart ARNA data by YCharts

SAN DIEGO ( TheStreet) -- Arena Pharmaceuticals' (ARNA - Get Report) most ardent shareholders -- a group of retail investors known affectionately known as the Areniacs -- are unhappy with the early prescription numbers for the company's weight-loss pill Belviq, so they're making up their own numbers.

Doctors wrote 1,829 prescriptions for Belviq for the week ended June 21, a 68 percent increase over the 1,087 scripts written the week before, according to IMS Health.

Arena and its marketing partner Eisai began selling Belviq on June 11. It's hard to say much about two weeks of prescription data but that matters little to Arena's retail investors because they've brainwashed themselves into believing the marginally effective weight loss pill would be an instant blockbuster.

When Belviq weekly scripts didn't double, triple or even quadruple this week, as they expected (unrealistically), the Areniacs blamed IMS, short sellers and anyone or anything other than the drug or themselves.

"Because IMS data is only 73% accurate, I adjusted it to estimate actual number of scripts and based my analysis on the adjusted number," writes "Reasonable Risk," in a Seeking Alpha column Monday titled Improper Analysis of Belviq's IMS Prescription Data Causes A 9% Sell-Off Of Arena On Good News.

"Reasonable Risk" doesn't explain how he reached the conclusion that IMS reporting of weekly Belviq prescription is only 73 percent accurate. It's true that IMS weekly prescription data are rarely 100 percent accurate so require adjustments, but two weeks of data is not enough to calculate an error rate. The anonymous author of the Seeking Alpha article starts with the conclusion that Belviq's early launch must be going great, so if actually reported IMS data aren't supportive, "adjust" the data to make them look better.

Unfortunately, even his adjusted analysis of Belviq scripts isn't looking too hot:

"A linear growth rate based on the second week's 501 scripts per workday suggests pharmacies will fill about 9,000 scripts the first month. Although that is about 30% below my predicted initial estimate, two data points are inadequate for making predictions," he writes. [Emphasis mine.]

Are two weeks of Belviq prescriptions numbers adequate or not? "Reasonable Risk" can't seem to make up his mind.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
ARNA $1.72 0.00%
VVUS $1.65 0.00%
AAPL $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs