Five of the top ten pharmas post strong second quarter gains

Five of the top ten drug companies reported strong second quarter growth this week.
Pfizer said its second quarter net income rose 21 percent, boosted by more than $1 billion in special gains and tax adjustments, but overall sales of prescription drugs fell by 1 percent.
Sales of Pfizer's blockbuster Lipitor rose 21 percent in the second quarter to $2.9 billion. Sales of Norvasc for high blood pressure jumped 12 percent to nearly $1.2 billion.
But sales of Neurontin, now facing generic competition, plunged 79 percent to $161 million and revenue from arthritis drug Celebrex fell 45 percent to $401 million on heart safety concerns.
Johnson & Johnson's second-quarter net income rose to $2.6 billion from $2.4 billion a year earlier, a rise of nearly 9 percent the company said today in a statement.
J&J said sales of its drug-coated stent Cypher were the primary growth driver for the quarter. Cypher's worldwide sales jumped 79 percent – U.S. sales increased 32 percent.
Like most French companies, Sanofi-Aventis publishes its revenue and earnings statements separately but the company did say Tuesday that its second-quarter revenue rose 6.5 percent fueled by strong sales of its anti-stroke drug Plavix, which saw net sales growth of 20 percent. Sanofi-Aventis is set to publish full first half earnings Aug. 31.
Amgen reported its first $1 billion quarterly profit with second quarter net income jumping 38 percent to $1.03 billion from $748 million a year earlier.
Global sales of Amgen's anemia drug Aranesp rose 36 percent to $837 million in the quarter from $617 million a year earlier.
Wyeth reported its second quarter net income rose to $976 million from $827 million compared with the second quarter of 2004.
Global sales of Wyeth's anti-depressant Effexor rose to $889 million from $831million last year. In North America, where Wyeth co-markets the arthritis treatment Enbrel with Amgen, sales of the drug rose 45 percent to $639 million. Enbrel sales rose 75 percent to $272 million in the rest of the world, where Wyeth has exclusive rights.