In a little-noticed move, Lilly has dropped “Lilly Answers,” its Patient Assistance Program for people without health insurance. Merrill Lynch’s David Risinger noted that ending the free-drugs-for-poor-people effort may have helped goose Lilly’s 1Q numbers.
“Eli Lilly reported 1Q pro forma U.S. sales up 11% YOY, including 10% net price and 1% volume. The net price benefit was surprising because the transition of dual eligibles (Medicaid to Medicare) annualized January 1, 2007. We think a key factor was less free goods due to the ending of the 'Lilly Answers' patient assistance program on December 31, 2006. Many prescriptions previously filled under that program are now covered by payers (particularly Medicare Part D), which boosts realized net price dramatically in some cases (i.e. Forteo).”
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