VIVUS, Inc. Diet Pill Covered More Often Than Anticipated

Published: Oct 02, 2012

Vivus Inc. (VVUS)’s obesity drug Qsymia was covered by health insurers more often than anticipated in its first week on the market, which may help drive sales. Vivus had said it didn’t expect health plans to agree to pay for the medicine, according to Andrew Berens, an analyst with Bloomberg Industries. Qsymia was covered about a third of the time in the week starting Sept. 21. Insurers paying for the Mountain View, California-based company’s treatment may boost use of Qsymia, since patients wouldn’t have to pay cash. “This is definitely a major concern among obesity physicians; there was a lot of talk -- some wishful thinking maybe -- that there will eventually be reimbursement for drug therapy in obesity,” Simos Simeonidis, an analyst with Cowen & Co., said in a Sept. 24 note to clients.

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