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Moves to help ease drug shortages undercut Spectrum

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As plant problems drained away supplies of the important generic chemo drug leucovorin a few years ago, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals ($SPPI) got to play the hero by upping production of its own branded version, Fusilev, or levoleucovorin. Players like Bedford Laboratories were having trouble meeting demand. Spectrum was not only able to please the FDA and patients, it was able to please shareholders, as its sales and stock price rose. But that all collapsed this week, when Spectrum told investors that with a new generic supplier approved, it is seeing extremely weak orders. Instead of revenue growth for Fusilev, it now expects sales to drop by more than half this year to about $90 million, down from $204 million last year, Reuters reports. In October, FDA approved a new version of leucovorin from Sagent Pharmaceuticals, which has fueled its own growth by targeting drugs of which supplies are thin, FiercePharma points out. Spectrum's shares are down more than 35% since the release, trading at $7.88 earlier today. Story | More