"So we thought about this ahead of time and we actually have played in this area by marketing our own human growth hormone Tev-Tropin and here’s a product that we knew that we had to have a clinical packet, had to put a sales force out there. We had to have a managed care strategy and we were able to sell the product even though we were not one of the big players in this market.
We didn’t sell as much as we’d like but we didn’t have -- you needed a 5-milligram and a 10-milligram, we only had a 5-milligram. You needed a device. We sold our product without a device, our product was lyophilized. We had a lot of disadvantages but we built our product over time and we realized early in, this is what the model’s going to look like."
"When I think about the exclusivity of the products and people ask me how long do you think this is going to last? I try to guide them to the latest patent date 2015, because that’s the way we feel based on the knowledge we have today of where the challengers are and where we feel that we’re going to be in the litigation.
We feel and we still haven’t engaged yet on the marker patents, which go out to 2019, 2020. So we’ve got -- we believe that the franchise is relatively safe from any generic competitors at this point in time or so-called generic competitors, at least let’s think about 2015.
Where we’ve cautioned is that the product its 15 years and it’s quite remarkable that last year in the face of 15 years of marketing the product actually grew. And it speaks volumes for our safety and our efficacy and that’s what we think is so important in MS therapy.
When you think about treatment, which is not for weeks or months or even years, its decades, safety and efficacy is extremely important and that’s what Copaxone is. So I think that, that’s one of the true values.
Now why does our projection go down because of that? Well, we do look at this market and say, hey, it’s becoming a crowded space. When we started in this market we started with an orphan, was an orphan exclusivity, it was an ODE and so we had a longer patent protection, well not patent protection, actually a longer regulatory protection for this product because of the ODE.
But now here we are years and years later. You’ve got lot of entrants coming in, you -- and by the way you’ve never had anything that really expanded the market until Gilenya. Gilenya has come in and this last year we grew, the market grew.
Now all other therapies other than Copaxone from the looks of our data, all other therapies other than Copaxone and Gilenya, they all suffered. Copaxone and Gilenya both grew.
My concern is, is it responsible for me to keep forecasting growth in the face of increased competition whether it’s from Gilenya or BG-12 or whatever. And I think it’s irresponsible for me to say this will not impact my business.
I’m very happy if they continue to expand the market and I’m 40% today and I’m the market leader. If I’m 35% in a couple of years of an expanded market then we’ll be at the same numbers and that’ll be a great thing. But I don’t think it’s good for me to forecast that, right.
So back when we gave the guidance back in 2010, we had said at that point in time that we would suffer from the crowding of the space and not really from any sort of competition, some glatiramer competition at that level and I don’t see competition to glatiramer acetate at that level. I see us really dealing with new therapies coming down the pipe.
From our perspective, we never have been the price leader. We don’t intend to be the price leader. But I don’t want to be far down in the pricing pack as well. From my perspective, I’ve always tried to be in the second position or the third position and that’s where we are right now, and as long as prices move up, if market prices do continue to move up, we’ll have price increases.
I don’t see us taking multiple price increases in a year. I think those days are gone. But if there’s opportunity, the responsible thing for our shareholders and we are -- I do believe we’re the standard of care. So I think we have a right to take those price increases and we do whenever we can.
Now we also have to deal with the managed care side and the push back, and when we take a price increase, if it’s -- we took one earlier this year, 14.9%. We don’t yield then on a product. We yield about half of that, about 50% of that goes back to either rebates or some sort of level of patient care, and our indigent programs or patient assistance programs are very, very important to us and we keep funding those."