“May You Live In Interesting Times” Chart Of The Year Candidate: Questcor Pharmaceuticals

Questcor Pharmaceuticals’ ($QCOR: no positions) intraday chart today is quite a doozy:

holy schnikeys!

Cliff notes:  Questcor has a drug called Achtar.   Large health insurer Aetna ($AET: no positions) put out a “clinical policy bulletin” about Achtar where they deemed that it is not medically necessary for a few of its common uses.  I believe that this bulletin was released today, but I cannot be sure.    This morning, Citron Research published a report highlighting the Aetna bulletin, which Citron uses as evidence to support their past thesis that  “Acthar was not the “wonder drug” management claimed” and explained:

“Citron expects United Healthcare, WellPoint, and Humana to follow Aetna within the next 12 months, and drop Acthar for all indications except Infantile Spasms.  Aetna will prove to have been the “first domino” in the chain of health insurance reimbursement decisions made by the majors. “

And the stock got hammered.  Eventually, after the stock was halted (As you can see in the above chart), the company (QCOR) made a statement:

“ANAHEIM, Calif., Sept.19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (QCOR) today commented on information regarding an insurance policy bulletin issued with respect to the Company’s primary product H.P. Acthar® Gel (repository corticotropin injection) (“Acthar”).

The Company is continuing to review the Clinical Policy Bulletin related to Acthar from Aetna Inc. (“Aetna”).  Currently, the Company does not believe that the bulletin represents a material change in insurance coverage for Acthar by Aetna. During 2012, Aetna has accounted for approximately 5% of the Company’s shipped prescriptions for Acthar.  Based on its current assessment of the Clinical Policy Bulletin, the Company does not believe that the bulletin will have a material impact on the Company’s results of operations.”

As you can see, that did little to satiate Mr. Market.   Needless to say that The Market disagrees with The Company’s conclusion: “the Company does not believe that the bulletin will have a material impact on the Company’s results of operations”

I have no insights to add here – I am new to this story, and cannot tell you anything about the impact this development will have on QCOR.  I can tell you, with certainty, that this is a frickin’ AMAZING intraday chart, and that the market strenuously disagrees with the Company’s assessment.


Citron Research

Aetna Bulletin

QCOR Statement


disclosure: no related positions


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