Dova picked up its newly approved drug castoff for a song — but payers will be singing the blues about the price

Dova $DOVA didn’t have to pay much when it bagged the rights to Doptelet (avatrombopag) from Eisai — laying out only $5 million for the castoff. And now that the FDA has come through with a marketing approval for a set of chronic liver disease patients suffering from low blood platelet counts, it’s not passing on any of the savings.

Dova reported today that it’s slapped a wholesale list price of $9,000 for the 40 mg daily dose and $13,500 for the 60 mg daily dose, which raised the eyebrows of Leerink’s Geoffrey Porges — who’s been tracking the launch.

Alex Sapir

In many cases, says Porges, the cost of the pre-treatment regimen the drug is good for will outstrip the cost of the procedure patients require. He noted:

This is above our and consensus expectations and will test the market’s appetite for premium pricing for specialty therapeutics. Over the next few months, this price will also stretch Dova’s capacity for co-pay assistance and temporary free goods as payers prepare and implement their coverage policies for this medicine. Even in this indication, it is hard to predict how payers will react to a pre-treatment regimen whose cost is significantly higher, in many cases, than the procedure itself (e.g., dental extraction, uncomplicated endoscopy, etc.). 

There are about 70,0000 chronic liver disease patients who suffer from thrombocytopenia. Standard operating procedure here is to assure patients that the company will work to limit any out-of-pocket expenses, and Dova is walking the line.

“We remain committed to ensuring access to Doptelet through Dova 1Source, our physician and patient reimbursement support center,” said CEO Alex Sapir.

The best place to read Endpoints News? In your inbox.

Comprehensive daily news report for those who discover, develop, and market drugs. Join 47,500+ biopharma pros who read Endpoints News by email every day.

Free Subscription

Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

Visit Endpoints Careers ->