And let's not even begin to discuss 2013, when analysts are forecasting $240 million in Qsymia sales. Again, using current prices, that implies an average of 584,000 patients on drug. Next year, Vivus will face competition from Arena Pharmaceuticals' (ARNA - Get Report) weight-loss drug Belviq. A third obesity drug from Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX - Get Report) is still in clinical trials.
Vivus reports third-quarter results on Nov. 6, which will include negligible Qsymia sales since the drug was launched at the end of the quarter. The stock has lost 38% of its value since Qsymia's lauch, reflecting investor uncertainty. Still, don't be surprised to see analysts use Vivus' third-quarter report as a trigger to sharply reduce Qsymia sales forecasts for the rest of this year and next.
At least that's what the analysts should do, if they were looking at the Qsymia prescription data objectively.
-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.Follow @AdamFeuerstein