MannKind (MNKD) Stock Rokets On Afrezza Access

MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ: MNKD) is screaming for the top in the market this morning, and for good reason. The company announced that its Afrezza inhalable insulin will be available to Medicare patients starting on July 18, 2021. Here’s what’s going on:

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MNKD Stock Climbs On Afrezza Availability

In the press release, MannKind said that an effort by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Medicare Administration Contractors (MACs), have implemented a policy change to the Local Coverage Determination L33822. 

As a result of this policy change, Medicare patients who are living with diabetes are now able to select both Afrezza and Continuous Glucose Monitors, meaning that Afrezza will soon be available to a much larger population of patients without those patients having to choose either one of the two options.  

The move came as the result of a request by MNKD to change the existing language surrounding Durable Medical Equipment MACs to include inhaled insulin. Previously, the criteria defined patients as taking insulin either with multiple daily injections or an insulin pump. As a result of the amendment, the definition now includes patients that take insulin with inhalation as an alternative. 

Management Commentary

In a statement, Michael Castagna, PharmD, CEO at MNKD, had the following to offer:

Prior to this change, Medicare denials were occurring for patients using CGMs and inhaled insulin as an alternative to injected mealtime insulin. MannKind is committed to providing convenience for patients, and believes that patients should have the choice to use any of today’s tools to help manage their diabetes.

The above statement was followed up by Stella Ilyayeva, MD, FACE, an Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism specialist. Here’s what she had to offer:

This is a win-win for Medicare patients and providers that serve those patients. In 2020, almost 2/3 of T1D Afrezza patients were utilizing a CGM concomitantly. I anticipate this change will open up more doors for the population of Afrezza users.

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Final Thoughts

All in all, the news released by MannKind this morning proved to be overwhelmingly positive. With the update to the language, the company’s Afrezza will be covered in combination with continuous glucose monitoring, combining two useful tools in the effort to treat diabetes. As a result, the company is likely to enjoy increasing sales, which is great news for investors. 

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