Zepatier’s US approval will trigger a further round of price cuts as it replaces Viekira Pak as main rival to Harvoni.
By Michael Haydock, Lead Analyst
26 March 2016
I am the Lead Analyst of the immunology and inflammation and infectious diseases and vaccines teams at Datamonitor Healt...
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Given the comparable efficacy of currently marketed interferon-free regimens and the huge cost burden posed by the large volume of chronic hepatitis C patients now seeking treatment, cost per cure will be a major determinant of uptake over the forecast period.
The January 2016 US approval of Zepatier is expected to trigger a further round of price cuts as payers seek to negotiate lower prices in return for favorable formulary positioning. Although Zepatier is a more clinically attractive competitor to Harvoni than Viekira Pak it has failed to show clear clinical differentiation from Harvoni based on efficacy or tolerability, and Harvoni has the advantage of a shorter eight-week treatment duration in treatment-naïve non-cirrhotic GT-1 patients.
Datamonitor Healthcare therefore believes that Merck & co will be forced to undercut Gilead’s regimen to achieve any significant uptake.
While Merck & Co has already signaled its intention to compete on price by setting the 12-week list price of Zepatier at $54,600 (substantially lower than Harvoni’s list price of $94,500) Datamonitor Healthcare believes that Merck & co will need to offer further discounts to compete with the blended cost of Harvoni in GT-1 patients. Indeed, based on Gilead’s stated 2015 gross-net discount of 46%, and Datamonitor Healthcare’s 2015 primary research data, the blended cost of Harvoni is estimated at $45,927 for treatment-naïve GT-1 patients, suggesting that Merck & Co will need to provide at least a 20% discount off Zepatier’s list price to remain competitive.
Zepatier US sales for chronic hepatitis C ($m), 2016–2018
Datamonitor Healthcare’s Hepatitis C forecast explores the impact of increasing treatment and cure rates on the market value during 2015−24, as well as the competitive dynamics of pan-genotypic regimens currently in late-phase development.
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