) recently announced that the Comite Economique des Produits de
Sante (CEPS), the pricing committee of France, has granted
reimbursement for InterMune's Esbriet (pirfenidone).
INTERMUNE INC (ITMN): Free Stock Analysis
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Esbriet is marketed for treating adults suffering from
mild-to-moderate idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a rare and
fatal lung disease. The decision of the CEPS makes Esbriet the
first drug to be reimbursed in France for the disease.
Management at InterMune stated on a conference call that following
discussions with the CEPS, an ex-factory reimbursed price of
€25,000 per patient per year has been authorized by the committee.
Management said that the ex-factory reimbursed price comes to
approximately $32,000 at the prevalent exchange rates.
On the conference call, it was further stated that the drug will
become eligible for reimbursement only after its price is published
in the French Journal Officiel. InterMune expects to make Esbriet
available to the French population following the publication. This
is expected by year end. InterMune is recruiting and training a
special team to promote Esbriet in France.
We note that Esbriet, which was approved in the EU in February
2011, is already available in Germany, Austria, Sweden, Norway,
Denmark, Iceland and Luxemburg. France will become the eighth EU
nation to market the drug by year end.
Management stated on the conference call that it expects to
conclude discussion regarding Esbriet's pricing and reimbursement
in Italy, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands by year end. Similar
discussions are expected to be concluded in the UK (first quarter
of 2013), Ireland and Finland (first half of 2013). Esbriet will be
launched in those countries following pricing and reimbursement
approvals by the relevant authorities.
We currently have a Neutral recommendation on InterMune. The stock
carries a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating). We expect
investor focus to stay on the pricing and reimbursement process in