Thursday, October 18, 2012

VIVUS Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS): Analyst Predicts Low Sales of Qsymia, Share Slumps

Shares of drug maker VIVUS, Inc.(NASDAQ:VVUS) declined 5.56% to $21.06 on Thursday, after Credit Suisse analyst Lee Kalowski, stated that Wall Street might be exceeding their estimates regarding the initial sales of the company’s obesity treatment Qsymia. His estimates are around $12 million in Q4 revenue, which is almost half of the predictions made by others.

Kalowski, who gave an “Outperform” rating on the company stock, elaborated that sales of Qsymia might be less due it being released with a comparatively small number of sales representatives, not being marketed to consumers directly, and being accessible via mail order only. Wholesalers and pharmacies are not in the picture as of now. Qsymia was launched in the US last month and it is the first long-term prescription weight loss drug available in the market after 1999. This is also the only approved drug of Vivus.

Will VVUS Rebound After Today’s Slump? Find Out Here

There is scope for the market to expand. A body of advisers to the European Union’s health agency is in the process of analyzing the drug, even though Vivus is not too sure if the EU advisory board will approve. A request has been made to US regulators so that the drug can be made available in medical shops.

However, Qsymia will need to take on rivals in the weight-loss drug market because the FDA has given a green light to Arena Pharmaceuticals’ Belviq, even though Qsymia is perceived as being the most effective among the two. Belviq will be available for sale in early 2013. 

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