Jul 11, 2019

Johnson & Johnson's stranglehold on the blockbuster drug Remicade

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Data: Company documents; Chart/Axios Visuals

Sales of Remicade, Johnson & Johnson's blockbuster drug that treats autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, are declining. But the drug still controls more than 90% of the market and commands a high U.S. price tag even though cheaper versions have existed for almost 3 years.

The bottom line: Biosimilar competition for Remicade "is essentially a failed market," Bernstein pharmaceutical analyst Ronny Gal wrote in a note to investors yesterday.

Driving the news: Biosimilars have fared much better in Europe, especially for Remicade competitors.

  • Remicade's price has fallen 21% in the U.S. since cheaper alternatives have been approved, but its price has dropped 74% in European countries, according to Bernstein.
  • Meanwhile, many U.S. hospitals that administer Remicade don't offer a biosimilar.
  • A lawsuit from Pfizer, which makes a Remicade competitor, alleges Johnson & Johnson has made sweetheart deals with health insurers to prefer Remicade.

Looking ahead: "We expect adoption to remain sluggish," Gal wrote.

Go deeper: Biosimilars have failed to take off

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Boris Johnson set to become U.K. prime minister

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Boris Johnson easily defeated Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to claim the leadership of the U.K. Conservative Party on Tuesday, setting the stage for him to become the country's next prime minister tomorrow.

The big picture: Johnson played a central role in pushing the "Leave" campaign over the top in the 2016 Brexit referendum — a shock result that unleashed the political chaos that consumed Johnson's most recent predecessors, David Cameron and Theresa May. Now, the man is meeting the moment he helped create.

Go deeperArrowJul 23, 2019

It's Boris Johnson time

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Barring a surprise of historic proportions, Boris Johnson will be announced on Tuesday morning as leader of the U.K.’s Conservative Party, and the country’s next prime minister.

Why it matters: The face of the campaign to leave the EU in 2016, Johnson will be tasked with solving the Brexit puzzle that stymied Theresa May and plunged the U.K. into a political crisis. He’ll also attempt to steady the so-called “special relationship” with the U.S. — and he’s just the man President Trump wanted in the job.

Go deeperArrowJul 21, 2019

Health care hopes Q2 quells jittery market

Health care earnings season starts in earnest this week. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson today kicks off second-quarter earnings for a health care industry that has been fighting Wall Street jitters despite record-level profits.

The big picture: Wall Street has low expectations for all of corporate America in Q2, but health care may be different. A lot of the industry isn't affected by the Trump administration's trade war with China, and all available data suggests health care spending is not meaningfully slowing down.

Go deeperArrowJul 16, 2019