JNJ’s Procrit Agreement
Johnson & Johnson’s Procrit is the same drug as Epogen though is used only in patients who aren’t undergoing dialysis under an agreement the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based drugmaker has with Amgen, Somaiya said.
Affymax has a profit-sharing agreement for peginesatide with Osaka, Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. (4502)
Medicare spent $6.8 billion on dialysis and drugs for kidney failure patients in 2007, according to a March 2010 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. Medicare, which covers almost everyone with kidney failure regardless of age, began reimbursing for such services in one bundled payment last year to save money.
Like peginesatide, Epogen is for anemia in chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis while Aranesp can also treat patients not on dialysis. The medicines are part of a class of drugs known as erythropoiesis-stimulating agents that boost production of red blood cells. The FDA recommended in June that doctors use the lowest possible doses of the agents because of potential heart risks. The agency in 2006 first warned that high doses of the anemia drugs may cause heart attacks and strokes.
Amgen, the world’s largest biotechnology company, has deals with the two largest dialysis providers DaVita Inc. (DVA) of Denver and Fresenius Medical Care AG (FME) in Bad Homburg, Germany. The deal with DaVita is exclusive and for seven years, while Fresenius’s agreement isn’t exclusive and is for an undisclosed amount of years.