Amgen Earnings Call Insights: EPO Franchise and Healthcare Reform Impact

Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) recently reported its first quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

EPO Franchise

Robyn Karnauskas – Deutsche Bank: So, first up, you commented about the EPO franchise. Can you comment a little bit about the impact of competitors in that franchise? Second on HoFH, so I think that data is coming a little bit earlier than expected. Maybe you can comment a little about what kind of day that you’re going to get there? Thank you.

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Robert A. Bradway – Chairman and CEO: Why don’t we take those in two pieces, Sean, do you want to talk first about the homozygous question and then Robyn, I will try to better understand what you’re trying to get out with the EPO question.

Sean Harper – EVP, Research & Development: Yeah. We don’t want to jeopardize our opportunity to present the data on homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia population, but it is data from the open label portion of our study. It has open label portion and then a controlled portion kind of Part A, Part B. This is data from the Part A.

Robert A. Bradway – Chairman and CEO: Okay, Robyn, you asked another question about EPO. Can you be a little but more specific about what you were looking for us to comment on?

Robyn Karnauskas – Deutsche Bank: So, you’ve started facing competition or initially now you’re actually freed up from competition, maybe you can comment a little bit, how you’re thinking about EPO franchise in the second half of the year?

Robert A. Bradway – Chairman and CEO: Sure. I think Tony summarized it well, but our perspective on EPOGEN is that we continue to benefit from the long-established track record of safety and efficacy with that product. We think it meets very well the needs of dialysis patients and providers. As Tony said, we entered the year with 96% market share and obviously with the withdrawal of a competitive product, we would expect that to go back to up to 100% market share. But generally again, we’re very pleased with the performance, the track record, the history of EPOGEN in this marketplace and we expect this to continue to be an important product for us and for the providers.

Robyn Karnauskas – Deutsche Bank: Can you clarify a little bit whether or not you have contracts in place that are affected by price and whether or not like for removal of the competitor actually is a benefit or whether or not you’ll still keep the price point?

Robert A. Bradway – Chairman and CEO: Yeah, I can understand the interest in the question Robyn, but I don’t think we’re going to get into details on the contract on the call. Let’s go to the next question, Marvin and just remind callers we’re going to try and do one question each so we can get thru everybody on the call.

 

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Healthcare Reform Impact

Joshua Schimmer – Lazard Capital Markets: I was hoping you can discuss the impact of healthcare reform in this quarter as well as what you expect to see for the duration of the year and then any changes into 2014 on that front?

Robert A. Bradway – Chairman and CEO: Josh, are you referring specifically to sequestration?

Joshua Schimmer – Lazard Capital Markets: The whole shebang, including sequestration…

Robert A. Bradway – Chairman and CEO: With respect to sequestration obviously there wasn’t any direct effect in the first quarter. We are not expecting any material impact from the sequestration if it remains in place through the balance of the year. Tony, do you want to talk about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the business in the first quarter?

Anthony Hooper – EVP, Global Commercial Operations: So I mean, we saw little to no impact at all and our guidance won’t include any changes in the Affordable Care Act between now and the year end, yes.

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Joshua Schimmer – Lazard Capital Markets: Then in 2014?

Jonathan M. Peacock – EVP & CFO: We will give guidance at a later time on 2014, Josh.

A Closer Look: Amgen Earnings Cheat Sheet>>

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