Schering-Plough CEO looks to Vytorin and Zetia to boost bottom line

Schering-Plough is looking to its cholesterol treatments Vytorin and Zetia to help boost earnings for the next several years as the drug maker develops new products, CEO Fred Hassan said. “It’s the fastest-growing part of the profit flow going forward, and we’ve said that it will be for several years,” Hassan said in an interview with Vytorin, the combination of Schering-Plough’s Zetia with Merck’s Zocor, will face competition this year from cheaper generic copies of Zocor and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Pravachol. Hassan said it isn’t clear how much generic Zocor may affect sales of Vytorin and Zetia. Vytorin and Zetia also compete with Pfizer blockbuster cholesterol treatment Lipitor, the world's best-selling drug. Lipitor sales rose 3% in the fourth quarter to more than $3 billion, Pfizer said Jan. 19. Fourth-quarter sales of Zocor declined 18% to $1.1 billion, Merck said yesterday. Schering-Plough’s share of revenue from cholesterol drugs under the Merck joint venture rose to $378 million in the past three months, from $200 million a year earlier, the company said. Hassan, who joined Schering-Plough in 2003, returned the company to profitability in 2005, after deficits caused by the 2002 loss of patent protection for the Claritin allergy pill. Sales at Schering-Plough have climbed five quarters in a row. “Now we have the financial headroom to look at possible acquisitions,” Hassan said. “It’s more that kind of an attitude than playing defense.”


How to Shatter the Glass Ceiling

How Pharma Can Benefit from the Transformation of Pharmacy

Who Needs a Gold Watch, Anyway?


Live at MM&M Transforming Healthcare

Pharma faces its 'oh, shit' moment

In his keynote address at the MM&M Transforming Healthcare conference, Dr. Gautam Gulati says the industry is being outpaced by its innovation.

Merck, Takeda execs: Is AI the new bad app?

One executive referred to AI as a "black box" and as the "Tower of Babel."

Value-based care requires innovators to challenge the status quo

Execs stressed the importance of collaboration, consumer-mindedness.

Admetsys wins the 2017 MM&M Startup Showdown

The artificial pancreas can provide value to the health system.

Top 40 Healthcare Transformers

MM&M honors 40 upstarts and veteran innovation gurus.

Top 10 Innovation Catalysts

For the first time MM&M honors a group of 10 agency execs.