Monsanto’s stock rose 8 5/16 to 47 9/16 the last week of January on news of strong
initial sales of its new arthritis drug Celebrex.
Demand was high, with close to 10,000 prescriptions generated
during the first week of availability. This number was far greater than any
other new drug offering in recent memory outside of Pfizer’s Viagra.
Doctors are very enthusiastic about this new class of pain
medication, and many patients seem to be as well. Arthritis-induced pain is a
common problem and the market for a new class of drugs like Celebrex
(devoid of unwanted gastrointestinal side affects) is huge. (My mother, who suffers from arthritic pain but was unable to use traditional
medications like aspirin or Motrin because of side effects, has
tried Celebrex and is excited about it.)
As soon as Pfizer and Monsanto start heavy marketing to
physicians, the sales of Celebrex should climb even higher. When Monsanto
updates its prescription sales for Celebrex in the very near future, the stock
will get an even more substantial jolt.
Next scheduled article: Monday, February 22, 1999. “New Technology: Companies unraveling the genetic code to battle disease–the Internet stocks of the biotechnology field.”