A consulting firm predicts that Belsomra will revive the entire market for prescription insomnia drugs, but that’s a tall order for Merck, analyzes Forbes.
As challenging as it will be to get the physician community on board with Belsomra, convincing insurers to pay for the product could be even tougher, especially considering the availability of cheap, generic Ambien. Still, says Luthi, he’s encouraged by the response, so far. Merck has already received positive coverage decisions for 50 million covered lives, and half of those patients were not required to try a less expensive drug before moving to Belsomra—a common tactic insurance companies use to lower costs. “We thinks this speaks to the value that even payers are seeing for having another option to help treat patients,” Luthi says.