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Optimer Introduces Strategic Initiative To Further Facilitate Patient Access To DIFICID®

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: OPTR) announced today the implementation of an initiative designed to accelerate and expand patient access to DIFICID® (fidaxomicin) tablets.  Separately, and consistent with its goal of improving awareness and understanding of the disease, Optimer is also announcing a new project analyzing the burden of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).


DIFICID, the only treatment approved by the FDA for Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) in over 25 years, generated $51.1 million in net sales in its first year on the market.  Optimer has been successful in generating significant brand recognition for DIFICID among physicians and in communicating that DIFICID has a comparable rate of clinical response at the end of ten day treatment versus oral vancomycin, and a superior rate of sustained clinical response through 25 days beyond the end of treatment.  Optimer intends to build upon its successful launch with initiatives that it believes will significantly expand and accelerate patient access to DIFICID.

Today Optimer announced that it is implementing a hospital contracting initiative designed to address cost as the barrier to prescribing DIFICID for hospital inpatients. This program reduces the acquisition cost of DIFICID to acute care hospitals for all inpatients, which Optimer believes will significantly expand adoption of DIFICID in acute care hospitals.  Expansion of DIFICID use in acute care hospitals may also have the effect of enhancing DIFICID's retail market, as hospitals' use of generic vancomycin slurry preceded increased retail prescriptions of branded Vancocin® capsules following patient discharge. 

Optimer recognizes that continuity of care from the inpatient setting through the post-discharge setting is important.  Optimer's RxAssist program provides resources to facilitate continuity of care, including information regarding coverage determination and benefits, prior authorizations, coverage appeals, and information about options for out of pocket assistance.  Optimer has seen utilization of RxAssist steadily increase since its launch in August.

"At just over one year post launch of DIFICID, we continue to be focused on greater patient access to DIFICID, which goes beyond initial response in the treatment of CDAD with superior sustained efficacy that extends through 25 days post treatment versus vancomycin," said Pedro Lichtinger, President and CEO of Optimer Pharmaceuticals. "We believe that greater patient access to DIFICID is beneficial to patients, and will result in increased DIFICID utilization."

Optimer also announce that it has new data regarding the burden of disease in the hospital setting.  Consistent with its goal of increasing disease state awareness, Optimer commissioned an analysis of Medicare data, intended for publication, which evidences the incidence of Medicare inpatients' CDI readmissions and suggests a link between CDI, hospital readmissions, and increased hospital costs. These data help address gaps in evidence regarding the burden of CDI.

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