Merck, Schering-Plough and Eli Lilly all posted second quarter losses this week.
Merck's second quarter profit fell 59 percent, hurt by the withdrawal of its blockbuster pain reliever Vioxx. Total worldwide sales were $5.5 billion for the quarter, down from $6 billion for the second quarter of 2004.
Schering-Plough posted a loss of $70 million compared with a loss of $65 million a year earlier. Schering-Plough's inflammatory disorder treatment Remicade saw sales rise 29 percent and brain tumor treatment Temodar saw a sales increase of 42 percent. The company is currently under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts for its marketing, sales and pricing practices and is also up against an investigation and lawsuits regarding wholesale prices in certain states.
Eli Lilly saw second quarter losses related to a liability settlement involving its top-selling antipsychotic Zyprexa. Lilly posted a second quarter loss of $252 million compared with a profit of $656 million a year earlier. Sales of Lilly's osteoporosis treatment Forteo rose 56 percent to $101 million and chemotherapy Gezmar jumped 17 percent to $343 million from the same quarter one year ago. Zyprexa sales fell 10 percent to $1.1 billion from $1.2 billion a year earlier and attention deficit disorder treatment Strattera fell 31 percent to $123 million after recently receiving a warning about side effects.