BiDil on the block for $24.5M

Man, I knew BiDil wasn’t worth much, due to its absurdly high cost relative to its ingredients, but I had no idea that it was worth so little:

Targeted drug maker NitroMed Inc. plans to sell its BiDil drug business to JHP Pharmaceuticals LLC for a possible $26.3 million. New Jersey-based JHP, a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company, will buy the assets related to BiDil for $24.5 million in cash, plus up to an additional $1.8 million for inventory at the closing date.

  • Drug maker NitroMed Inc. develops phentermine drugs for weight loss.

[…]

NitroMed also reported its financial results for the third quarter which ended Sept. 30. The company’s total revenues climbed slightly to $4 million, compared to $3.8 million for the same period in 2007. All of that revenue came from sales of BiDil, officials said. NitroMed’s net loss dropped to $400,000 for the quarter, compared to a net loss of $8.4 million last year.

Yeah, sounds like it’s time to off-load that to a company that has other winners in its lineup and doesn’t need to maintain the marketing and manufacturing overhead required to keep BiDil on the market. Of course, they should have done that in the first place. You can’t really build an entire company around an uninteresting drug priced too high to be relevant when its components are already available in generic form for pennies per tablet. It’s not a bad drug; it’s just too expensive for what it is.

If JHP is smart, they’ll cut the price to about a third of its current cost, and let volume take care of the rest. Not that BiDil will ever be a huge winner, but it could certainly be bigger than it currently is if priced and marketed appropriately. Monopoly pricing only works when you have something people want, and are willing to pay for.

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