Forest Laboratories' CEO Discusses Q4 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Forest Laboratories (FRX)

Q4 2012 Earnings Call

April 17, 2012 10:00 am ET


Frank J. Murdolo - Vice President of Investor Relations

Elaine Hochberg - Chief Commercial Officer, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Member of Disclosure, Legal Compliance & Risk Management Committee

Francis I. Perier - Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President of Finance & Administration and Member of Disclosure, Legal Compliance & Risk Management Committee

Marco Taglietti - Senior Vice President of Research & Development, Member of Disclosure, Legal Compliance & Risk Management Committee and President of Forest Research Institute (FRI)

Howard Solomon - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President


Gregory B. Gilbert - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Christopher Schott - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

David Risinger - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Gregory Waterman - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Frank H. Pinkerton - SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Research Division

David G. Buck - The Buckingham Research Group Incorporated

Elliot Wilbur - Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division

Timothy Chiang - CRT Capital Group LLC, Research Division

Mario V. Corso - Caris & Company, Inc., Research Division



Good morning, my name is Sotura, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Fourth Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call for Forest Laboratories. [Operator Instructions] Thank you. Mr. Frank Murdolo, sir, you may begin.

Frank J. Murdolo

Thank you, Sotura, and good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us today for this fourth quarter fiscal 2012 conference call. Joining me today is Elaine Hochberg, our Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Chief Commercial Officer; Frank Perier, our Executive Vice President of Finance Administration and Chief Financial Officer; and Marco Taglietti our Senior Vice President, Research and Development and President of the Forest Research Institute.

By now, each of you should have seen the earnings release that we issued around 8:00 this morning. This release is also available at our website, By way of Safe Harbor Statement, let me add that various remarks that we may make about future expectations, plans and prospects for the company, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and actual results may vary.

Let me now turn the call over to Elaine, who will comment on the business during the quarter.

Elaine Hochberg

Thank you, Frank, and good morning, everyone. It's my pleasure to update you on how our commercial portfolio of new and existing products is performing. Fiscal year 2012 was an important year for Forest since, as I mentioned in the last quarter, it was a year in which we actively promoted 6 products for the first time in our history. Viibryd for depression, Daliresp for severe COPD, were both launched together last August. Teflaro, our hospital-based anti-infective was launched in March of 2011. Our remaining promoted products, Bystolic for hypertension, Namenda for moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease and Savella for fibromyalgia round out the product portfolio that was supported by our multiple field forces in fiscal 2012. These 6 products are also important because they signify the beginning of our effort to build sustainable, multiproduct, therapeutic franchises such as CNS, cardiovascular, respiratory and anti-infectives. Our ability to unlock the value of each franchise will be dependent on the product offerings in each and more importantly, the power will be in the mix and our ability to exploit its synergies.

So let's start with our newest launches, Daliresp and Viibryd.

Daliresp has gained momentum in both pulmonology and primary care. Sales for the quarter were $13.1 million, a 56% increase over the December 2011 quarter. Daliresp is participating in a COPD market that's currently valued at approximately $5.7 billion with over 26 million prescriptions written annually. Since Daliresp is indicated for severe COPD patients, we plan to deeply penetrate this segment of the market in which both the unmet medical and educational needs are high.

We're pleased with the early prescription data and trends for Daliresp. As of the week ended March 30, there have been over 135,000 prescriptions written. Overall total prescription volume in the March quarter increased almost 40% over the December quarter after having doubled in the fiscal third quarter over the second. New prescription share of the total market was 1.49% for the week ending March 30 versus 1% for the last week of December, while TRx share was 1.15% versus 0.75% for the same period. Over 18,000 physicians have already tried Daliresp, including 39% of all specialists, which is a very positive signal, and over 50% [ph] of physicians have used Daliresp more than once.

Since launch, primary care physicians and other healthcare providers have written approximately 75% of scripts; specialists, around 25%, which is in line with expectations. Our sales force has reached 85% of our target audience. Physicians’ interest in Daliresp is very high, with awareness of products well above 90%. Feedback from pulmonologists and PCPs is positive, as seen by the fact that most prescribers have written more than once.

Likelihood to prescribe remains high for both PCPs and pulmonologists. We continue to focus on educating these physicians about how Daliresp works, explaining where, when and how Daliresp should be used to reduce the risk of exacerbations in patients with severe COPD. In fact, as I described last quarter, our education efforts on behalf of Daliresp are akin to what our extensive education efforts were for Namenda when we launched that product. We've also included disease-state understanding, appropriate patient identification and product-specific knowledge.

The support and advocacy of pulmonologists is a key need in this category and early signs of adoption by this group, they're very encouraging, with new prescription share among specialists exceeding national share and reaching almost 2.4%. Approximately 25% or almost 1 million severe COPD sufferers are hospitalized for an exacerbation each year. In March, our institutional sales force began promoting Daliresp to pulmonologists in over 2,000 hospitals. Over 500 hospitals to-date are using Daliresp to reduce risk of exacerbations following a hospitalization. We now have 190 target hospitals on formulary and the vast majority have added Daliresp with no restrictions.

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