After publishing an update on on the company’s lead product, H.P. Acthar Gel, shares of Questcor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:QCOR) were up 6% in early trading on Friday. The update, filed in an 8-k, shows significant prescription growth of the gel as well as an increase in vial shipments. H.P. Acthar Gel is an anti-inflammatory for patients with Multiple Sclerosis, Nephrotic Syndrome, Infantile Spasms, and its smallest market, Dermatomyositis/Polymyositis. Vial shipments increased by 33% from July to August, and have been growing steadily q-to-q since 2010.
PropThink reported Tuesday on the impact that Medicaid rebates have had on Acthar revenues, which are so high in some cases (100%) that the company makes no money on many prescriptions. But the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) recently informed QCOR that Acthar Gel is eligible for a substantial rebate reduction, possibly to 23%, which will allow much higher profitability. Revenue is expected to grow significantly with the lowered rebates as Medicaid patients make up 50% of prescriptions in some Acthar Gel indications. Adding fuel to the fire on Friday is a large 42% short interest in QCOR that is helping to squeeze shares even higher in the morning. Strength should continue throughout the day.
PropThink’s previous QCOR coverage is available here.