The cloud of fog sitting over Depomed
On Friday the drugmaker announced that the Food and Drug Administration had approved Gralise, its treatment for post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), the pain that occurs after patients get shingles. The news was far from painful for investors; shares are up more than 30% today.
They'd likely be higher if we actually knew who was going to launch the drug and when. Depomed's partner, Abbott Labs
Once Gralise is launched, it'll go up against Pfizer's
In theory, the biggest threat to Depomed might come from Merck
But that's only in theory since Gralise can treat other pain indications as well. The sales force isn't allowed to promote the drug for other indications such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a nerve pain disease that diabetics get, but doctors are free to prescribe it off label. I wouldn't expect the off-label prescriptions to happen immediately, but once doctors feel comfortable with using Gralise to treat PHN, they'll likely start prescribing it for other indications. GlaxoSmithKline
Hopefully investors don't have to take Gralise off-label for protracted partner syndrome, the pain associated with falling stock price because mediation drags on longer than expected.