How Sepracor could make a buttload of money

In 2008, CFC inhalers are going away, a topic I’ve covered extensively here and here. That leaves Sepracor in a position to make themselves quite a lot of money if they’re willing to do one thing out of the ordinary: price the Xopenex HFA MDI at or below the same price as the other HFA albuterol products. This would set up the PBMs to be receptive to making the product a Tier 2 copay, like most of the racemic albuterol HFA formulations.*

Then send out the drug reps.

In theory, levalbuterol almost sells itself. At least they won’t have to resort to underhanded marketing tactics quite as much.

Will they do it? I don’t know. Probably not. That would require doing things differently — like lowering the price right off the bat — and I think we all know how much Big Pharma likes to do things Their Way. Risk is, well, risky.

If I were captain of the ship, though, I’d roll the dice. The inhaler market is huge — and only going to get more lucrative once CFCs disappear — and right now, Sepracor is not positioned to be anything more than a niche player when they could easily have most of the pie.

* Cursory research indicates that some PBMs have the Xopenex HFA MDI at Tier 2 already, but most seem to require a Prior Authorization.

[tags]Medicine, pharmacy, Asthma, Sepracor, albuterol, Xopenex[/tags]

2 thoughts on “How Sepracor could make a buttload of money

  1. I 100% agree with you on your post. In school we were taught that although Xopenex produced a statistically significant reduction in HR, the reduction was not clinically significant (something like 3-5 BPM) and as a result of its cost, it is generally avoided. If however, the drug companies did lower its price, they would be able to get a portion of the market from Albuterol.

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