Generic drug companies don't market their products, but in this case, Amarin would be doing the marketing for them.
If you think through this scenario, it helps explain why Amarin was never acquired early on, and why the company was forced to launch Vascepa on its own. Big Pharma makes many mistakes, but one area where big drug companies excel is figuring out intellectual property and marketing exclusivity issues.
My investor source believes Big Pharma determined early on that Vascepa's copycat active moiety and overlapping initial approval (relative to Lovaza) make it too easy for a generic copy to undercut the market. Amarin's still has Vascepa patents in place for protection, of course, but generic drug makers could figure out a way to work around the patents or get them invalidated by the courts.
For Big Pharma, these risks are too high, which is why Amarin's troubles aren't going away, even if Vascepa wins an expanded label later this year.One more thing: Total Vascepa prescriptions for the week ended April 12, totaled 1,870, up 15% from the week of April 5, according to IMS Health. Amarin's slow Vascepa launch continues. -- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston. Follow @AdamFeuerstein
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV