Gilead Sciences, being a public company, categorizes the medicines by sales/revenue in its annual report, while it categorizes differently (disease-specific) on the website for marketing. The medicines under the category "Other Medicines" as provided by the audited 2018 report are Letairis®, Ranexa®, and AmBisome®.
- AmBisome sales for the U.S. region in 2018 was $46 million.
- Letairis sales for the U.S. region in 2018 was $943 million.
- Ranexa sales for the U.S. region in 2018 was $758 million.
- Total sales in the U.S. region for the "Other Medicine" category in 2018 was $1.747 billion.
- AmBisomeg global sales in 2018 was $420 million.
- Letairis global sales in 2018 was $943 million (Only sold in the U.S.).
- Ranexa global sales in 2018 was $758 million (Only sold in the U.S.).
- Total global sales for the "Other Medicine" category in 2018 was $2.121 billion.
Additional Insights on Macugen (Pegaptanib)
- Macugen was produced by Eyetech utilizing technology that was licensed from Gilead. This medicine was last promoted by Valeant Pharmaceuticals in the United States, a company that acquired Eyetech in the year 2012. Valeant enjoys exclusive licenses to both manufacture and market Macugen in the country.
- Valeant Pharmaceuticals renamed itself Bausch Health Companies in an attempt to strengthen its image after a couple of years controversies surrounding pricing practices.
- Macugen, released in market sometime in 2004 post-approval, came to a patent expiration in January 2017, after which generic alternatives with the same composition of Pegaptanib (Macugen's generic name) found their way onto the market.
- In 2005, Macugen achieved total sales of around $185 million in the United States in its first complete year of sales. However, protein-based anti-VEGF therapeutics like Eylea (aflibercept), Lucentis (ranibizumab), and Avastin soon displaced it due to better performance.
- By the year 2010, sales of Macugen declined to just $12 million annually due to aggressive competition from Lucentis (ranibizumab; Novartis).
- The primary reason for the short-lived success of Macugen was the difference between it and Lucentis. While Macugen could suspend the development of wet AMD, Lucentis could repair vision impacted by AMD. Therefore, Macugen sales significantly diminished due to substandard efficacy compared to
Logic behind defining the "Other Medicines" category
Intensive research revealed that Gilead categorizes medicines differently on its website than its annual report. While the audited annual report's results are categorized based on the revenues (which is required in this research), the website classification may be based on other parameters like marketing, or by disease classification. Hence, the "Other Medicines" category has been defined, including those medicines that are listed in the latest annual report of the company, segregated by revenue. The medicines that have been included in the category are Letairis®, Ranexa® and AmBisome® for which both US sales and global sales have been provided. The individual sales of each medicine has also been provided. Information on Macugen has additionally been researched for this request and an explanation follows.
Reasoning behind Macugen information
- We have searched for information related to Macugen, since it does not fall under any other category otherwise. However, recent sales figures do not exist due to the reasons stated below:
- The patent for the medicine expired in January 2017 and generics by other manufacturers appeared in the market.
- The medicine had already lost competition by the end of 2010 to other better alternatives in the market (like Lucentis, Avastin etc.) and reported a sharp decline of 93% in just five years starting from $185 million in 2005 to a mere $12 million in 2010.
- Macugen was originally developed by Eyetech administering a technology that was licensed from Gilead. Thus, Gilead just accounted for royalties through the sale of the medicine in the United States. Eyetech was acquired by Valeant in 2012, while Valeant itself underwent a name change to Bausch Health Companies, owing to long stated controversies over pricing practices. All of this resulted in none of the companies providing any documented sales for Macugen over the years.
First, we searched for information directly from the respective websites of Gilead, Eyetech, Valeant, and Bausch. Though hard data on the sales numbers were unavailable, we deduced much information related to the product. Moreover, we made attempts to search for information on Macugen sales from press releases, corporate presentations, and various other company-related documents and links, but we could not locate sales information for the medicine.
Next, we searched through medical journals and research sites like OmicsOnline, iMedPub, BMJ, NCBI, etc., hoping to gather information focused on the research of this medicine and thus early information like the release, patent, etc. We were able to cite some useful information and included it in the research, which led us to understand the stiff competition this medicine faced right from its early days in the market.
We then scanned through statistical data from sites like Statista, IBIS World, PSI Web, Drug Abuse, etc., after observing a market trend of drugs being used to cure AMD. It is the same disease which Macugen is also known to cure. However, we found that no such recent statistics existed for the medicines of AMD that named Macugen as one of its cures. Thus, no recent market report named the medicine or its therapeutic use.
Following this, we attempted to triangulate an answer. We wanted to gather the year over year (YoY) of CAGR and find current sales statistics utilizing these values. Also, we could have obtained the number of unit sales for one year and multiply it with the unit price. Nevertheless, recent figures on the volume of units sold were unavailable, nor was there any recent data on the CAGR or YoY. We identified figures from 2005 and 2010, which suggested a steep decline of about 93% in just five years, which could be applied for effective calculation.
Afterward, we searched for the sales of Macugen through the top pharma retail chains in the United States like CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and Rite Aid, among others. However, no comprehensive revenue figures were reported by any of these stores. Other thorough research steps finally deduced that the drug, apart from undergoing multiple handovers of companies, also faced fierce competition from better performing drugs and hence was either phased out or declined after its patent expired in early 2017.