Dallas, Texas 08/08/2014 (FINANCIALSTRENDS) – Zogenix, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZGNX) and the question of painkillers continues to drive Zogenix Inc news chain. But makers of painkiller Zohydro ER, which contains only hydrocodone (an opioid) without the liver-damaging actenaminophen had additional issues on hand.
The first of the ‘challenges,’ the term used by CEO of Zogenix, Roger Hawley, was the resignation of chief commercial officer, Scott Shively, who sought personal career growth with another company. The next and most crucial ‘challenge’ was the de-listing of Zohydro ER from the national formulary.
De-Listing From Formulary
Zogenix, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZGNX) was caught off-guard when one of the largest managers of pharmacy benefits in the country, Express Scripts chose to remove Zohydro ER from its list of painkillers for which reimbursement could be claimed by patient.
The immediate impact would be the drop in use of this drug.
However, Zohydro ER offers alternatives in pain-management drug niche, according to FDA, which despite advisories from within the organization chose to recognise commercial sale of this product. At the time of approval, the ability of Zohydor ER to allow pain management without the side-effects of liver damage due to the common presence of acetaminophen in similar painkillers had satisfied FDA. However, the lack of abuse-deterrents in the drug has been the undoing. Since the drug can be easily crushed, mixed with alcohol or chewed, the high-risk of its misuse are the focus of current campaigns by political leaders for higher regulatory as well as restricted distribution line-up.
Resistance Belies Bullish Prescription Rate
Zogenix, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZGNX) Hawley remained confident of the drug as he highlighted a ‘positive trend’ which allowed 1,950 prescriptions in the second quarter alone, over the 74% higher rates of prescription in the first month of the third quarter.
Analysts such as Annabel Samimy, at Stifel Nicolaus, report, “There was a lot of misinformation out there that made it difficult to market. The backlash was unexpected…which has evened out.”