Drugmaker Indivior saw its shares slump nearly 20 per cent this morning after the firm booked a loss for the fourth quarter on the back of falling prices for its flagship opioid treatment.
Indivior, which is best known for its opioid addiction products, swung to a $42m (£32.4m) loss for the last three months of the year, down from a £20m profit in the same period last year.
Revenue for the period fell 44 per cent year-on-year, from $236m to $133m this year.
Profit for the whole year fell 39 per cent to $178m, down from $292m last year. Whole year revenue fell 22 per cent to $785m.
The firm forecast a net loss of $20m to $50m for the coming year, excluding exceptional charges.
Why it’s interesting
Indivior’s shares have also plunged, by nearly two-thirds in 2019, as it also battles a potentially crushing $3bn fine for illegally marketing opioid Suboxone.
The FTSE 250 firm is facing 28 charges of health care fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy, in connection with the marketing of the product.
The treatment has also seen its market share fall from 53 per cent to 24 per cent over the course of the year as rivals undercut prices with copycat treatments.
The case is a blow for Indivior, which has gained from the government’s efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and is focusing on newer drugs such as Sublocade, an injectable treatment, to boost sales.
What Indivior said
Shaun Thaxter, the firm’s chief executive, said: “2019 was a challenging year for Indivior but I am proud that it brought out the very best in our people as we focused our efforts on improving the lives of patients suffering from addiction and its co-occurring disorders.
“Although we are optimistic about delivering on our strategic priorities in 2020, we of course recognise the legal uncertainties we face.
“We are proactively working to manage these risks while our teams remain focused on leveraging the strategic and operational accomplishments of the past year to further our leadership position in addiction science and diversification into behavioural health.”