Original Source: FD (FAIR DISCLOSURE) WIRE
OPERATOR: Good morning. My name is LuAnn and I will be your conference operator today. At this time I would like to welcome everyone to the Alpharma announces results of Phase II clinical results conference call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. (OPERATOR INSTRUCTIONS).
I will now turn the call over to Ms. Kathy Makrakis. You may begin your conference.
KATHY MAKRAKIS, VP OF IR, ALPHARMA, INC.: Thanks, LuAnn. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Alpharma's conference call to discuss Phase II clinical results of our abuse-deterrent extended release opioid. For today's call we have provided a PowerPoint presentation to go along with our remarks that is available on our website at Alpharma.com. When you go to the website, click on the tab for investor information and in that section on the left you'll see the tab for this presentation.
On the call today is Ron Warner, President Branded Products and Compliance and Intellectual Property; and Joe Stauffer, Clinical Research, Vice President Clinical Research and Medical Affairs. Our CEO, Dean Mitchell, is also on the call. Dean will make some opening remarks and then turn it over to Ron and Joe, who will take us through the clinical results.
Before we begin, it is important to note that in the course of this conference call we will make certain statements regarding future events or future business performance which are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Our Safe Harbor statement is set forth in our SEC filings and in the slide presentation to cover these remarks.
On slide two, you can see some webcast information. It is also important to note that these materials were prepared specifically for this conference call and the Company does not undertake to update this material.
With that, I'll turn the call over to Dean.
DEAN MITCHELL, PRESIDENT AND CEO, ALPHARMA, INC.: Thanks, Kathy. Good morning, everyone, and thanks for joining us. Last night we announced positive Phase II results for our abuse-resistant extended release opioid product. The successful completion of our Phase II program represents an important company benchmark. It demonstrates our ability to execute a highly sophisticated clinical program with innovative technology in a huge product market, pain management. Abuse of prescription drugs is a major concern in pain management and we believe abuse-deterrent products will capture significant market share and enhance patient care by increasing physician comfort in prescribing these drugs.
We believe these strong results, which Ron and Joe will take you through in detail, place us in a highly competitive position to be a key participant in the future market for abuse-deterrent products.
With that, I will turn the call over to Ron to discuss the results.
RON WARNER, PRESIDENT, BRANDED PRODUCTS, COMPLIANCE AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, ALPHARMA, INC.: Thank you, Dean. Good morning. A summary of our information exchange today is provided in slide number three in the deck. By way of background and setting the stage for Dr. Joe Stauffer who will go through the data in some level of detail, I would like to spend a few minutes addressing the need for abuse-deterrent opioid containing products.
Such questions as is the misuse, abuse, and diversion of prescription opioids an issue? Are physicians concerned? If so, will the abuse-deterrent products being developed by Alpharma and others fill a need in the marketplace today? Our work and the work of others indicates the answer to all these questions is in fact yes. We will review some of the facts behind that here in just a minute.
I will also spend a minute reviewing our drug delivery technology for abuse-deterrents and then turn the call over to Joe where we will spend most of the time on the last topic, that is providing a summary of our positive Phase II results, results that confirm the Alpharma's novel approach to abuse deterrents appears viable and further positions Alpharma as one of the leaders in the development of abuse-deterrent opioids.
Looking at the question, one of the questions I posed, and that is do physicians care? I turn our attention to an article, a 2006, a recent article written by Dr. Steve Passik of Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Ken Kirsch of the University of Kentucky, both well-known individuals in the field of pain and pain management; an article they published in pain medicine again earlier this year. That article has a key bullet point; it says essentially that 15% of physicians in the area of pain specialty prescribing are investigated by the DEA annually. I think when I read that that is a staggering number to think of a pain physician one in roughly six being investigated by the DEA. So clearly physicians do care and are concerned. Consequently patients with chronic pain are often undertreated.
To turn your attention to slide number four, looking at this from a different perspective, this is the estimated cost of prescription opioid abuse in the United States in 2001 and then projected in (technical difficulty) $. This indicates that approximately $10 million -- I'm sorry, $10 billion in 2005 divided among three major categories that the workplace costs, criminal justice system costs, and healthcare costs were consumed as a result of opioid abuse. This article is published by Dr. Birnbaum in the Clinical Journal of Pain. These data were provided by him, one of the first times we have seen in recent times that others have shown interest from a financial perspective in the cost of abuse to society.
Clearly this …