Genetic Sitagliptin (generic Januvia) may be heading for the UK market. If it arrives and gains licenses here, how will manufacturers, suppliers and buyers monitor the pricing and sales activity?
A service called Wavedata Live was set up in 2004 and has been delivering competitor pricing information to manufacturers, wholesalers and pharmacy groups ever since. The service uses price lists and invoices collected from a network of pharmacies and dispensing doctors to create an organised picture of the sales and pricing of thousands of medical products.
To keep the data current, it uses a 35 day ‘window’ which means that when data is older than this it drops off the website and onto other services. About half of the data is about the pricing of generics, with the rest made up of parallel imports, UK brands, devices and OTC products. Approximately 100,000 medical product prices are added each month and the data on the website is refreshed every 15 minutes.
The rate at which the product price is likely to drop will depend on the number of license holders. So, fewer than 3 will produce a very slow price decay rate, and more than 20 will be very fast. Between these two extremes prices take longer to decay, allowing branded companies’ commercial departments to do brand equalisation and giving generic companies a chance to make a profit before the price falls to marginally profitable levels. Depending on the number of license holders, this this period is usually years.
The image is taken directly out of Wavedata Live at https://www.wavedata.co.uk/login and shows the parallel import prices available at the time of writing. In time these will all be replaced by generics. We have blurred the names of the suppliers as we don’t want to give the wrong impression about their prices. Although they are all clearly visible on Wavedata Live, they are dynamic with prices changing daily and sometimes even hourly.