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Expert Interview

Slingshot members are talking to an expert! The topic is:

Understanding the market potential for Zontivity and Yosprala in helping patients reduce cerebrovascular and cardiovascular events.

Ticker(s): ARLZ, MRK

Who's the expert?

Name: Dr Paul Gurbel - MD

Institution: Inova Health Systems

  • Interventional cardiologist and Director of the Inova Center for Thrombosis Research and Drug Development who treats ~250 patients/mo with cardiovascular disease.
  • Board-certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, and Interventional Cardiology his research focuses on defining the effects of antiplatelet agents, antiplatelet agent development, and understanding the relation of platelet reactivity to ischemic event occurrence in patients undergoing stenting.
  • Holds patents in the fields of interventional cardiology and antithrombotic therapy and his concepts and research have been published in over 1000 abstracts, manuscripts, books/chapters and has authored over 400 major articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Interview Questions

Please describe your current practice. How many patients with a history of myocardial infarction (MI) or with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) do you currently treat?

Added By: joe_mccann

What are your experiences with prescribing both treatments, and how have patients responded?

Added By: joe_mccann

How do they compare in side effect profile, insurance coverage, convenience, etc?

Added By: joe_mccann

Are these drugs too similar in composition or use to truly differentiate roles and niches in the market?

Added By: joe_mccann

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being very excited, how would you rate your level of excitement for each drug?

Added By: joe_mccann

Have you been called on by a sales rep from Aralez? How was that experience, was it helpful? How many times have you seen this rep?

Added By: joe_mccann

I want to clarify question #8. While I would also like to know about patient access to Yosprala, since late April, 2017 Aralez has instituted a pricing change for Yosprala in which patient's out of pocket cost is $10 per month (regardless of whether the patient is insured or not). Were you aware of this pricing change and if so, how has that impacted patient access to Yosprala?

Added By: 22vesta

I want to clarify question #9. It was the launch of Zontivity by Merck which significantly underperformed. Aralez has re-launched Zontivity starting with only 15 sales reps in April, and doing a full - re-launch with 75 sales reps beginning in early June (last month). Early sales results following the re-launch have been positive with recent weekly NRx exceeding peak weekly NRX generated by Merck, even this early in the re-launch. Have you been provided with the new sales presentation for Zontivity by Aralez sales reps since the re-launch? Has it impacted your thinking on Zontivity?

Added By: 22vesta

Can you discuss the benefits of Yosprala for patients? If the drug has not been shown to reduce the risk of GI bleeds from aspirin how much of a limitation is that in your mind?

Added By: joe_mccann

How has patient access to Yosprala been? The company talks to a responsible pricing strategy of <$1 / day for out of patient pocket costs. Is that reasonable to you? Any other comments on coverage/access we should be thinking about? How has the change in pricing in April impacted access/prescribing?

Added By: joe_mccann

The launch of Zontivity significantly under performed expectations. What do you see as the main reason for this under performance when MRK owned it? Is this fixable?

Added By: joe_mccann

Are You Interested In These Questions?

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