A study released today by market research firm Ipsos Vantis states that 70% of American Physicians would make one of the new weight loss drugs a ‘standard therapy treatment.’ Ipsos Vantis Study Link
What Ipsos Vantis doesn’t state is which of the 3 drugs the physicians surveyed would prescribe first. Surely they asked the question. I’ve asked the question to the physicians I know and they have told me what I would expect them to and that is Lorqess is the clear first choice. Most I have spoken with wouldn’t even consider a drug that has Topiramate or Wellbutrin in it. Primum non nocere, “first do no harm.” Even if Qnexa and Contrave eventually make it to the market, and I don’t think they will, they will be a 2nd, 3rd or even 4th choice a physicians writes a script for. I bet most of the MD’s that read my blog would agree? Those 2 drugs do not have the Adverse Event profile to become a First Line Therapy, only Lorqess does.
Ispos Vantis’ survey is in line with Arena’s survey they conducted which showed that 75% of Lorqess scripts would be for patients not currently on a weight loss therapy. Only 25% would come from switching off an existing drug like Orlistat or Meridia. So let’s do some math here. 70% of PCP’s would make a weight loss drug a standard therapy for their overweight or obese patients and that would only be $400M according to Ispos Vantis? As I showed in my recent Lorqess Valuation article, I estimate there are approximately 132M Americans covered by health insurance that are overweight or obese. Of course not all of those will regularly see a doctor but let’s just start with the assumption that they all do and then work from there. 132M Americans x 70% of PCP’s making a weight loss drug a standard therapy = 92,400,000 potential patients for Lorqess as a standard therapy. 92,400,000 x $1,200 a year = $110B a year.
So if there are 132M Overweight or Obese Americans and they all go to the Doctor. 70% of Physicians will prescribe Lorqess as the First Line Treatment. That is a potential $110B in revenue in just the US. Now before you send me emails, OF COURSE THIS IS UNREALISTIC. But the point is that if just 10% of that overall market (confirmed by the Ipsos Vantis study for acceptance among physicians) it is over $11B in revenue. That is roughly equal to the Scenario #3 I laid out in my Lorqess valuation model. So if you don’t believe Lorqess can be a major blockbuster, think again. The Ipsos Vantis study underscores why it will be.