- Dova Pharmaceuticals announced a wholesale acquisition cost for a five-day course of Doptelet of $9,000 for the 40 mg daily dose and $13,500 for the 60 mg daily dose. The treatment for thrombocytopenia will be launched on June 4.
- Doptelet, which gained approval May 21 of this year, is being sold for the low platelet count condition in adult patients with chronic liver disease scheduled to undergo a procedure.
- There are around 70,000 people with chronic liver disease and low platelet counts that are at risk of bleeding following procedures. Analysts at Jefferies estimate peak U.S. sales of $400 million in 2018.
Upon Dova's FDA approval for its drug Doptelet (avatrombopag), the company kept quiet about its pricing.
With days left before release, the details are out, at between $9,000 and $13,500 wholesale acquisition cost for a five-day course, depending on the dose.
Dova saw a slip of over 7% by close of business on Thursday.
In its release, the company stated: "At launch, through Dova 1Source, Dova will be providing a host of reimbursement support programs so that no eligible patient is denied Doptelet for financial reasons."
According to Eun Yang, equity analyst at Jefferies, Dova is indicating a gross-to-net price of 30% to 50% of WAC at launch "given discounts/rebates at the channel purchase and payer levels."
Despite this, the price is still rather more than the analysts were expecting.
"This… will test the market’s appetite for premium pricing for specialty therapeutics… [and] will also stretch Dova’s capacity for co-pay assistance and temporary free goods as payers prepare and implement their coverage policies for this medicine. Even in this indication, it is hard to predict how payers will react to a pre-treatment regimen whose cost is significantly higher, in many cases, than the procedure itself," said Geoffrey Porges of Leerink in a note to investors.
Doptelet's use is to replace platelet transfusions, which have an estimated cost of $9,000. However, because the savings will have to be balanced between medical benefits and pharmacy benefits, this could make the sales process challenging. Porges warns that the higher-than-expected pricing could lead to lower penetration in the market, and slow and incomplete coverage.