Armies and stocks are similar in one respect: People invested in them are usually displeased when they retreat. So it was with Amarin (AMRN 0.85%) shareholders, who traded the stock down this week after the company announced it was pulling out of an important market in Europe. As of Friday before the market open, Amarin's stock was down by nearly 18% week to date, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Last Friday after market close, Amarin disclosed in a regulatory filing that it is ceasing operations in Germany, effective Sept. 1. This will result in the cessation of the sale of Vazkepa (known as Vascepa in the U.S.), a cardiovascular drug that is the company's only commercialized product.
The move comes after discussions with healthcare officials in that country failed to produce a reimbursement price Amarin considered "viable," in its words, for Vazkepa.
The pharmaceutical company said that it expects to incur a charge of around $4 million from the withdrawal from the German market, mainly due to termination benefits and related costs. The charge will be booked in its current (third) quarter.
In an accompanying press release, Amarin quoted its president of Europe, Laurent Abuaf, as saying, "We deeply regret having to take this drastic decision at a critical time where high-risk cardiovascular patients in Germany are essentially being denied a medically effective therapeutic option that other European health authorities have recognized as being valuable in the fight against cardiovascular disease."
Investors are deeply regretting that Amarin is leaving one of the most populous, wealthy markets in Europe. The company is already vulnerable, as in 2020 it was forced to start competing with generic versions of Vascepa. This continuing struggle is evident in Amarin's latest set of quarterly results, which featured a steep year-over-year decline in revenue, and a dramatic flip into the red on the bottom line.