Bernstein's Geoffrey Porges has run the numbers on what a Gilead takeover of Vertex would look like. And he loves what he sees.
As hep C drugmakers such as Gilead Sciences and AbbVie continue to duke it out for dominance, there is one piece of the market both sides are battling to claim: state Medicaid programs.
For several years, Gilead Sciences CEO John Martin has collected annual compensation worth about $15 million and his stock gains since 2009 run into the hundreds of millions. But for a record-smashing year that vaulted his company into the ranks of the global top 10, Martin snared a comparatively small payoff in 2015.
Cipla is rolling out a low-cost version of Gilead Sciences' hep C powerhouse Sovaldi in India, the latest company to launch a copycat of the drug as part of Gilead's deal with generic drugmakers to provide Sovaldi at cut-rate prices.
When hepatitis C drugmakers started wooing payers with discounts, the cost cuts made the difference between an overwhelming burden and cost-effective spending. So say two new studies looking at the cost of treating the disease with a new generation of quite effective--but very expensive--treatments.
India's Natco Pharma said that it has received Indian regulatory approval to locally sell its generic version of Sovaldi, the hepatitis C treatment that costs $1,000 a day in the U.S., making it the first Indian license holder to do so and allowing it to set a bar on pricing in India and onto emerging markets.
Want Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), the hepatitis C drug selling in the United States for $1,000 per pill, for just $10 a pill? Go to Bangladesh or some other country where the drug is about to be produced and sold free of the control of Sovaldi's owner, Gilead Sciences.
Gilead Sciences has been busy in India and Japan signing licensing agreements for at least four of its drugs.
Tax inversion deals are not the only trick Big Pharma has up its sleeve to avoid steep U.S. taxes. Gilead Sciences is booking profits overseas in low-tax countries to take home more profits for its blockbuster hep C drug Sovaldi.
Which launches are the ones to watch? That can vary depending on who you're talking to. But as Bloomberg Intelligence recently found, industry members and healthcare investors have some similar ideas this year--and unsurprisingly, they've got their eyes on Gilead's Harvoni.