MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ: MNKD)
MannKind has had a hard time in the market to say the least, and for good reason. Afrezza, the company’s only approved product simply isn’t generating the prescriptions that everyone expected to see. However, last week’s prescription data does provide a bit of a glimmer of hope. It’s also important to remember that Afrezza is not MannKind. We’ll talk about what that means later.
Why MNKD Has Seen Long Term Declines
MannKind did incredibly well, that is, until the pre-launch of Afrezza. Afrezza is an incredibly innovative meal time insulin that doesn’t require an injection. Instead, it is an inhaled powder. While investors expected the insulin to fly off of the shelves, it has had a lackluster start to say the least. That’s because there have been a couple of barriers in the way…
First and foremost, awareness surrounding Afrezza was incredibly poor in the beginning among physicians. While the physician awareness has improved, the diabetic community is still relatively clueless with regard to what Afrezza is. However, MNKD investors are also paying close attention to the Direct to Consumer phase; a phase that’s happening right now and is expected to lift consumer awareness.
Another key aspect here is insurance coverage. The reality is that few consumers will be willing to choose a prescription drug that insurance doesn’t cover over one that insurance does cover. Unfortunately, insurance companies haven’t been covering the inhaled insulin. However, that’s changing as well. In fact, recent estimates have shown that about 80% of insurance companies do plan on covering the insulin in one way or another. That’s a great thing for MNKD and its investors.
Prescription Data Provides A Glimmer Of Hope
I’ve been a bull on MNKD for quite some time now, and I’ve got to admit, at times, that’s been an incredibly difficult stance to keep. However, there is a glimmer of hope in last week’s prescription numbers. The prescription data shows that 386 new patients were prescribed Afrezza. This brings the total number to 11,611 patients on Afrezza. While everyone, including MNKD investors know that this is still a drop in the bucket compared to what it should be, it does signify an improvement of 24% over the previous week and reverses the declining new prescription trend we’ve seen. This means that both physicians and consumers are adopting MannKind’s treatment at a better rate than before and is a sign that strong growth in prescriptions is coming our way!
Afrezza Is Not MannKind
It’s also important for investors to remember that Afrezza isn’t the company. The company is MannKind. I know that Afrezza is MannKind’s only approved product, but that doesn’t mean that the company won’t be coming out with new products down the road. After all, they made a hire a few months ago specifically for the creation of new products using their proprietary technology, technosphere.
What Do You Think?
Where do you think MNKD is headed and why? Let us know in the comments below!
[Image Courtesy of Merrill Lynch]