Gilead Sciences was counting on Harvoni,to replace and the company’s existing Hep blockbuster Sovaldi. And Harvoni did not disappoint, making up 44% of Gilead’s latest quarterly revenue total. That’s with a single drug!
As for media rating numbers, Harvoni edged Sovaldi by the narrowest of margins – 55 points to Sovaldi’s 53 rating. Currently, Harvoni is the #6 drug in our extremely broad prescription drug sector. Not surprisingly, Sovaldi slipped 2 positions to #11.
Media momentum is off for both drugs as they’re coming off massive market debuts which tend to skew momentum figures.
It does appear that Harvoni is operating about 7 points below its older sibling’s media debut performance. This is likely to continue as Sovaldi benefited by being the first blockbuster Hep C drug in the category. Sovaldi is 6 points off its trailing 12-month average. The drug has not seen a single momentum triggers for over 3 years (May 2013) now.
The rating revelation here is simple. Sovaldi provides a nice media brand benchmark for follow-on Hep drugs in the category. Also, like Sovaldi, Harvoni is a very expensive mediation, coming in at around $1,000/pill. The media likes to contrast these high drug prices with the overall cost-reduction direction of modern healthcare.