posted 05-10-2001 05:40 AM
April 30, 2002 - Amgen Inc. confirmed on Monday it has raised the wholesale price of EPOGENŽ, which is routinely administered to dialysis patients to treat anemia, by 3.9 percent for a third consecutive year. Story from Reuters/Yahoo.
Renal Care Group, Inc. announced that it had received notice that Amgen had raised the price of EPOGENŽ by 3.9%. This price increase will not affect Renal Care Group in 2002 because the Company's current contract extends through the end of 2002. Press release from Renal Care Group.
DaVita Inc. announced that it had received a similar price increase notice from Amgen. Story from PRNewsWire/Financial Times.
Here are the stock prices of Amgen and the major dialysis providers:
May 25, 2001 - The National Renal Administrators Association (NRAA) has posted a statement on their web site concerning the recent Epogen price increase announced by Amgen.
May 11, 2001 - Renal Care Group (RCG) saw its stock price drop over 10% on the first trading day after the EPOGEN price increase announcement. Sam A. Brooks, chairman and chief executive officer of RCG, commented on the increase. "Quite frankly, we are disappointed that Amgen once again announced a price increase before notifying us. We believe Amgen's price increases, coupled with the government's failure to take them into account in setting the reimbursement rate for EPO, hurt dialysis patients as well as dialysis providers and payors." RCG stock was downgraded by an industry analyst.
Amgen raised the price of drug because research and development costs are up, according to Amgen spokesman Jeff Richardson. The price increase was "in line with Medicare prescription-drug price increases, which averaged 5.4 percent in 2000," Richardson said.
Here is the latest update on this story from Bloomberg Financial News.
In other EPO-related news, Johnson & Johnson said this week that the anemia market is large enough to support its Procrit EPO drug, as well as a new version of Amgen's EPO drug that will be launched later this year.
May 10, 2001 - DaVita announced that it has received notice that Amgen has increased the Wholesaler Acquisition Price for EPOGENŽ by 3.9%, effective May 9, 2001 at 5:01 PM Pacific Time. This pricing increase will not affect DaVita in 2001 as DaVita has pricing protection in its existing contract.
DaVita Board Chairman and CEO Kent Thiry criticized the price increase.
Amgen announced a similar 3.9% price increase last year on February 24, 2000. That increase in the price of EPOGEN in 2000 also caused many providers to publicly comment on the effects that such price increases have on their organizations.
[This message has been edited by Gary Peterson (edited 04-30-2002).]