Amgen Inc (NASDAQ:AMGN) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Oct 30, 2018 • 05:00 pm ET
grow our business ex-US and make the innovations from Amgen's R&D pipeline available in those markets. So we've gone from 42 countries to 102. That's a good sized footprint for a company our size and affords us an opportunity to expand outside of the US.
Ying Huang, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
So maybe Bob you can give us a little more color, given the recent proposal from Trump administration on the reform on Medicare Part B. What can Amgen do to mitigate the application (ph) of the negative impact? And then secondly I have a question on Aimovig. Given the apparent lack of differentiation clinical data so far, how do you position Aimovig against the other two competing therapies to market for 2019 contract negotiation? .
Again, we'll take this in two parts. One on I'll start with the, your question about the political environment and then kick it to Murdo to respond to your question about Aimovig. With respect to the proposal, I could think I'd start with your question, which is that at this point, it is just a proposal. We expect it will be quite a bit of interest in trying to help shape the eventual outcome of that, but our objective and our commitment is to continue to work with the administration and congress to try to improve the competitiveness and access for innovative drugs in our system, and that includes in Part B. We think there are some things that can be done to eliminate unnecessary cost and friction in the system and make sure the patients who need innovative therapies can get them, and we will continue to advance those ideas in our discussions in Washington. But again, it just would underscores a proposal at this point and there will be plenty of time to see the proposal take shape. Murdo you want to address the question, starting with the comment that there is no differentiation between the products?
As I said in my prepared remarks, the launch of Aimovig has been a fantastic success. We have seen very good provider payer and patient response to our launch. And as I also mentioned in my prepared remarks, Aimovig is indeed the only receptor antagonist for -- to CGRP. We're also hearing really good feedback on the fact that there is no loading dose and that payer approvals have been quite good so far. So about 70% payer approval rate for a new product in a symptomatic category and that's a really, really strong signal to us that payers do indeed want to approve them, want to pay for these agents.
You've seen that we've been able to secure coverage at least with one large PBM with ESI and we're working through the rest, but I continue to believe that being a first mover in this category and having over 100,000 patients initiated so far, having a really strong program to bridge patients from initiation to secured reimbursement through their insurer. And having 12,000