An Ireland-based company, Horizon Pharma, makes a drug called Vimovo. The drug combines the two over-the-counter drugs of Nexium and Aleve and you won’t believe what they charge for it!
1. According to the article, how much does it cost to buy the new drug. Compare Vimovo’s price to the $40 for a month’s supply of the over-the-counter drugs. What percentage increase is this in the price?
2. What techniques has Horizon used to make sure that doctors will write for Vimovo?
3. According to the article, what barriers has Horizon eliminated in order to cash in on the combination drug? Do you think that any of these are deceptive? Why or why not?
4. Go to Horizon’s annual reports for 2015 & 2016. Find the section that describes why Vimovo and Duexis as better solutions than the over-the-counter components taken separately. What are the benefits they tout?
5. How much did Horizon make in sales of each drug, as shown in the 2016 annual report? Were either of these their top money maker? If not, what was the top selling product and what does it do?
Allen, M. (2017). How Two Common Medications Became One $455 Million Specialty Pill. ProPublica and The Atlantic, June 20 (Retrievable online at https://www.propublica.org/article/horizon-pharma-vimovo-common-medication-455-million-specialty-pill)