Generic DuoNeb market

Monday, December 31, 2007

YARMOUTH, Maine – Neb-med providers could see a leveling of the playing field in the coming months as the six-month patent on generic DuoNeb expires and competing generics hit the market, say industry leaders.
“I think you’ll see the generic pricing become more competitive,” said Sam Jarczynski, president of Rx Stat in St. Petersburg, Fla. “So far, the pricing hasn’t been good for many people.”
The generic, manufactured by Princeton, N.J.-based Sandoz and launched in early July, is billed under the same code as DuoNeb (J7620) and receives the same reimbursement—currently $1.08 per dose—but the cost to most providers is about 20% less says Mickey Letson, president of Decatur, Ala.-based Letco Companies.
“We’ve been seeing a big transition to the generic,” said Letson.
Increased competition isn’t the only factor when it comes to lowering prices. Currently, the average sales price—a four-quarter average of previous pricing plus 6%—on the generic is not calculated into the overall ASP for DuoNeb, but when it does, many expect a pattern similar to that of Xopenex and albuterol. In July, when the two drugs were bundled under the same code, Xopenex plunged while albuterol spiked, before the weighted average of the two drugs dragged down reimbursement the following quarter.
For now, providers should take a “wait-and-see” approach, cautions Wayne Vega, a consultant with Stat Vial in Acadiana, La.
“To adjust strategies quarterly because of ASP is difficult, he said.”