Mar 29, 2023
Organon Seen Rallying on Birth-Control Demand in States Restricting Abortion
(Bloomberg) -- Wall Street analysts think shares of Organon & Co. will get a boost this year from one of the most politically charged debates rampaging across the US: the fight over legal abortion.
Organon’s future growth is seen coming from high-demand for its Nexplanon long-term birth control product in states with restrictive policies, since contraceptives are better protected from legal and legislative risk than abortion pills.
“We expect growing awareness and Dobbs v. Jackson to drive further growth of Nexplanon, Organon’s long-acting reversible contraceptive, jewel in the crown and key stock driver,” said BNP Paribas analyst Navann Ty, referring to the 2022 Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade and ruled that the US Constitution doesn’t protect a women’s rights to an abortion.
While Nexplanon is sold globally, its sales over the next decade are expected to boom in the US as more consumers seek out the product in areas of the country where abortion is heavily restricted.
Nexplanon generated $834 million in global sales last year, up from $769 million in 2021, as it rebounded from a two-year slump during the Covid pandemic. In the US, its sales were $573 million in 2022, up from $532 million a year earlier.
“Organon’s competitive advantage in the contraceptive market has largely shifted to Nexplanon and the long-acting reversible contraceptive market,” Raymond James analyst Elliot Wilbur said.
Organon can use the help. Its shares are down more than 35% since going public in June 2021, as its substantial debt load weighs on the stock. It has lost 19% this year compared with a 6.3% drop in the S&P 500 health-care sector and a 3.7% gain in the broader S&P 500 Index.
Analysts say pressures on the company’s stock price are expected to wane this year as it reduces its debt It also is launching Hadlima, Organon’s first biosimilar drug for AbbVie’s autoimmune disease treatment Humira, which it developed with Samsung Bioepis. However, the shares have yet to reflect these upsides.
“Though management has been active on the deal front in terms of enhancing its competitive positioning within the women’s health segment, markets have largely yawned at the pace,” Wilbur said.
Organon representatives declined to comment for the story.
All of which makes Nexplanon’s success crucial to Organon’s growth. Unlike the abortion pill mifepristone, birth control products are protected under the recent legislation put out by the Biden Administration.
Demand for Nexplanon has increased most dramatically in states with challenging abortion regulations since July 2022, just after the Hobbs decision was announced, according to Organon Chief Executive Officer Kevin Ali. It posted strong growth in states with more “restrictive policies around abortion or access,” he said on the company’s fourth-quarter conference call.
The company sees Nexplanon growing in the high-single digits, and Ali sees it as a “$1 billion blockbuster” by 2024 or 2025.
Of course, Organon isn’t alone. Other companies are experiencing similar demand for contraceptive products.
“Back in May, following the Roe v. Wade leak, we experienced a significant spike (+300%) in requests for emergency contraceptives, such as Plan B,” said Michelle Carnahan, president of Thirty Madison Inc., parent of the telemedicine company Nurx, which offers at-home birth control services.
The key for Organon is differentiating itself from the crowd. And the expectation of the company and Wall Street is that Nexplanon’s effectiveness will drive demand for it over other similar products.
“Nexplanon has one of the highest efficacies for pregnancy prevention,” BNP’s Ty said. “The contraceptive implant is highly effective, especially in this post-Roe environment.”
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