Amgen Earnings Call Nuggets: Neupogen Details and Medicaid Accrual

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

Neupogen Details

Robyn Karnauskas – Deutsche Bank Research: I guess I’ll first start with the (base) business question, since that progressed nicely this quarter. Can you talk a little bit about the unit declines you are seeing with Neulasta and is there any concerns that might be due to upcoming Neupogen launch by Teva or the Neupogen similar product launch by Teva? Also on the XGEVA side, what kind of trends, are you seeing in the face of generics have made as – generics that maybe don’t take much share at all in this space?

Anthony Hooper – EVP, Global Commercial Operations: Let me respond to a couple of those. One, we have looked deeply into the Neulasta business, looked to be the chemo regimens, we see nothing specific that’s impacting the business at the moment. I think it will be too early to be looking at any type impact of a competitor to Neupogen and just a reminder any other product that comes up that will not be a biosimilar, but it will be a separate BLA. Turning to Xgeva, it looks like there are about seven generics now completing for (indiscernible) business that has declined quite dramatically. Xgeva has maintained about its 40% unit market share. There was a slight decline in new bio-naive patients in the first couple of months and that seems to have picked up back up again to where it was in the past.

Medicaid Accrual

Christopher Raymond – Robert W. Baird: On this Medicaid accrual, I know you guys explained that you are – you basically had some claims experience that drove the decision, but could you maybe give a little bit more color specifically what was the sort of exogenous event or set of circumstances that led to taking it this quarter?

Jonathan M. Peacock – EVP and CFO: I think we have – Chris, its Jon. We have been keeping track of the claims that we’ve been receiving against the reserves that we set up over the last two to three years for Medicaid patients being processed through the managed healthcare systems state by state across the U.S. We made a judgment that the claims that were coming in consistently over that period since we started the accrual were coming in somewhat lower than the reserves that we’d set and so it became clear that the net revenues were higher than we had estimated at the time we set out the reserves. So, the adjustment we’re making is really to recognize those net revenues based on the actual claims experience that we’ve seen over the last couple of years. The net revenues were higher than we had estimated when we set up those reserves. So, we’re at a point where with our orders as we felt it as appropriate to recognize that.

A Closer Look: Amgen Earnings Cheat Sheet>>