Wall Street analyst calls prasugrel launch “muted”

It may be too soon for reliable predictions, but one Wall Street analyst sees signs of weakness in Lilly’s launch of Effient (prasugrel).

Seamus Fernandez, a Leerink Swann analyst, wrote in a research note that the number of new prescriptions for prasugrel were below the numbers observed during a similar period in successful new drug launches in recent years.

But, wrote Peter Loftus on Dow Jones Newswires, it may be too early to dismiss prasugrel’s long term prospects. Loftus  noted that the drug is initiated in the hospital, but that hospital usage is not reflected in the available data from IMS Health. In addition, the summer launch of prasugrel may have contributed to a slow start.

Loftus also quotes Lilly’s CFO Derica Rice: “There will be a delay in prescription data showing up in IMS, given that initial use occurs in the hospital setting.” Rice’s remarks, which were made at a UBS conference, are available in a wecast.

Prasugrel received FDA approval on July 10 and became commercially available  early in AugustClick here for a complete chronology of the prasugrel controversy.

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