VIVUS (VVUS) Qsymia Prescriptions Jump 140%+ After Free Trial Program Starts

January 7, 2013 6:45 AM EST
VIVUS, Inc. (Nasdaq: VVUS) shares are looking to open higher Monday amid new Qsymia prescription data.

According to Bloomberg, Qsymia prescriptions jumped about 140 percent higher from 5,394 for the four-weeks ended October 26th to 12,978 in the four-week period ended December 21st. The pop came following commencement of its Free Trial program on November 19th through two certified pharmacies.

VIVUS said that a third pharma started the program in late December.

The October data was revised higher from an initial estimate of 4,904 prescriptions.

More color from an 8-K filing made this morning with the U.S. SEC:

On November 19, 2012, the Company initiated the Qsymia Get Started! Free Trial Offer Program in two of the certified pharmacies. A third certified pharmacy began participating in this program in late December 2012. According to this program, the Company is, for a limited time, offering to eligible patients a 14-capsule starting dose of Qsymia, 3.75 mg/23 mg (phentermine and topiramate extended-release), at no charge to the patient. After initiation of the program a significant portion of the prescriptions at the 3.75 mg/23 mg dose level were shipped at no charge from the participating certified pharmacies to the patient under this program.

Qsymia was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, in July 2012. The Company sells Qsymia product in the U.S. through certified pharmacies in its Qsymia Home Delivery Network. Given the Company’s limited history of selling Qsymia and the lengthy product return period, the Company has not been able to reliably estimate expected returns of Qsymia at the time of shipment to the pharmacies. Therefore, the Company recognizes revenue when units are shipped by the pharmacies to patients through prescriptions, at which point, the product is not subject to return. The Company obtains the prescription fulfillment data directly from the pharmacies or their designated third party service providers to determine the amount of revenue to recognize.

As the Company has disclosed in its previous filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, its ability to effectively and profitably commercialize Qsymia will depend in part on its ability to create market demand for Qsymia through education, marketing and sales activities; achieve market acceptance of Qsymia and generate product revenue; receive adequate levels of reimbursement from third-party payers, such as private insurance programs and pharmacy benefit managers; and comply with the post-marketing requirements established by the FDA, including the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS, and any other requirements established by the FDA in the future.

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