Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACOR) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Feb 13, 2020 • 08:30 am ET
Welcome to the Acorda Therapeutics Fourth Quarter 2019 Update. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. There will be a question-and-answer session to follow. Please be advised that this call is being taped at the company's request.
I will now introduce your host for today Tierney Saccavino, Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications, at Acorda. Please go ahead.
Thanks, Marshala. Good morning, everyone. Before we begin, let me remind you that this presentation will contain forward-looking statements, detailed disclosures can be found in our SEC filings, which are public and we encourage you to refer to those filings.
I'm going to now pass the call over to our CEO, Ron Cohen.
Thanks, Tierney. Good morning, everyone. Just starting with INBRIJA. As a reminder, INBRIJA is inhaled levodopa. Levodopa is the gold standard therapy for improving symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and INBRIJA has indicated to address the return of symptoms, also known as off periods on an as needed basis when a patient's regular medication regimen stops working during at various times during the day.
INBRIJA was approved by FDA in December of 2018. We launched it at the end of February of 2019, and during 2019, we had two key goals, educating healthcare professionals, so that they would know how to properly use and prescribed the drug and then also achieving formulary access. We've been successful in increasing physician awareness with about 75% of physicians now having unaided awareness of INBRIJA in our most recent research and fully 92% have awareness, aided or when given the hint. About 78% of the physicians who are aware of INBRIJA. also said that they expect to increase their prescribing. Regarding patient access, over 2019, we reached agreements with several of the major payors and PBMs. We now have about 72% of commercial lives, covered on formulary. That's actually ahead of our internal projections.
On Medicare, we have about 25% of covered lives with access, that's about where we expected to be due to the greater restrictions imposed in Medicare Part D and also timing issues related to when we were approved and came to market versus when a request for proposals or do each year. Where we fell short in 2019 was an understanding the important factors in the market that influenced, prescribing behavior in patient compliance related to insurance and access. What we have learned is that first challenges with insurance and access play an even greater role in this market than we anticipated and they feed into physicians' reluctance to prescribe the drug. Virtually all of the new drug entrants in the last four to five years in the Parkinson's market have had major restrictions on access that's extremely time consuming for physicians and their office staffs and as a result, they've been conditioned to hold off prescribing any new product on the market for the first nine months to a year or so after launch because they know it takes at least that long to get access issues worked