#deniedRX—Hashtag to Nowhere

By Henry Ehrlich
This web site has coated the progress of dipilumab, a monoclonal antibody to deal with eczema, since earlier than it had a model identify. The primary sighting was in a presentation by Dr. Emma Guttman-Yassky of Mount Sinai. The earlier than and after photos, perfect accompaniment for a rooster dinner on the Harvard Membership, have been dramatic. Earlier than appeared like second and third diploma burns. After appeared bathing-suit worthy. Other than this miracle drug efficacy, the opposite topic was the retail price of the market model “Dupixent”. At $38,000, the worth tag was so excessive that Regeneron’s CEO Leonard Schleifer anticipated that insurance coverage firms would possibly reject protection and grow to be a problem so he created a hashtag #deniedRX that itchy sufferers might use to share tales of being shot down. Presumably there can be a groundswell of stress on the insurers.
I realized about this in a biotech podcast produced by STAT, a wonderful medical web site, known as The Readout Loud (extremely advisable for anybody within the enterprise of prescription drugs), and I appeared it up. I realized it’s not as straightforward for a giant firm to go viral as it’s for the standard no-talent actuality TV star. It solely collected 13 Tweets, the final of which was in March this yr, and a number of other of these have been about scandals that bore no relation to the drug.
Who is aware of? Perhaps Schliefer had visions of a trigger celebre on the order of Mylan and EpiPen. Nevertheless it’s one factor to ratchet an indispensable product as much as scandalous costs over a interval of years—dependent sufferers might be outraged–and one other to start out out scandalously priced after which mild a match, hoping the outrage would burst out. Actually, as the parents at STAT identified, this stunt was generated to spice up earnings. And it didn’t work; as of this previous spring, when each Regeneron and its accomplice Sanofi misplaced inventory market worth based mostly on disappointing Dupixent gross sales.
Good drug. Iffy enterprise mannequin.
Graphic by eczemaliving.com
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