The Pharmalot blog is trying to take all the fun out of the Merck-J&J arbitration battle over the fate of Remicade and its follow-on Simponi. The blog makes the observation that the rheumatoid arthritis and related inflammatory diseases space is crowded with competitors. It questions how fast the pie is shrinking?
Remicade sold $4.6 B globally last year. But its $3 B in US sales were flat. However, its $1.48 B in non-US sales grew by 24% - and it is the non-US sales that are at the core of the dispute. Schering-Plough had distribution rights on these non-US sales and that is what J&J is trying to claim as a result of Merck's takeover of Schering-Plough.
Even if Simponi has been slow taking off, and does not seem to be displacing Enbrel and Humira significantly, the sales associated with both Remicade and Simponi outside the US are still significant -- and I'm sure J&J still wants to win the arbitration battle....
Posted by Bruce Lehr Jan 27th 2011.