I’m declaring today a holiday, but — for those of you who follow Dendreon — I turn the mike over to two of my esteemed readers, both doctors:

Guru: “The reimbursement specialist I talked to (part of an oncology practice) was very bullish on Dendreon, now that they have a Q code. She said a permanent J code – for ultimate ease of reimbursement – should follow soon. She was the one who pointed out that in 2010 in her state, there were only five centers in the whole state who offered Provenge. Now there are pages and pages of them, including the three in Hollywood I mentioned yesterday. Fair or unfair, the doctors who administer this get $5800 for doing so – very profitable for them. Right or not, Medicare has decided Provenge works well and will get broad reimbursement. Right or not, many of the key opinion leaders have also decided it works. The reimbursement specialist herself was very bullish on Provenge – it harnesses your own immune system to treat cancer! She said that the Q code and the permanent J code will make reimbursement almost automatic, relieving the issue that torpedoed DNDN’s earnings in the 2Q and the guidance in 2011. They will make the guidance – and much more – but in 2012. Wall street will figure this out over the next couple of months. That’s why it is a buy now. For the record, DNDN will start another prostate cancer trial this year as well as a bladder cancer trial. No crossover. No other shenanigans with the protocols to make it look like it is working. Survival will be the end point in both trials. Both trials will take five years or longer, I estimate. Both will fail.

Kevin K: “I think there’s a moral decision to consider – when I asked my mentor why Stanford and UCSF were giving Dendreon’s vaccine to their prostate cancer patients and Johns Hopkins wasn’t, he sent a one-word answer: ‘geld.’ At a time when we are ALL concerned about Medicare’s financial solvency, should we really participate in encouraging in ANY way any urologist or oncologist wasting $100,000 of Medicare’s money on a placebo? I would urge your readers to not want to make any money on Dendreon on principle alone. I know people don’t really consider the moral implications of their investments, but I have stayed far away from Dendreon’s stock for these reasons and I hope your enlightened readers would do the same.

☞ I love Dr. K’s motivation but don’t share his view. The amount of harm one would do by buying 300 shares – or 10,000 shares – of the stock is infinitesimal. The amount of good one could do with a $3,000 profit – or a $100,000 profit – if the stock were to double from here, is considerable.


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