Pfizer sales up, as it braces for Lipitor down side

Share this article:
Study anticipates higher statin use
Study anticipates higher statin use
Pfizer reported higher fourth-quarter sales, but the world's largest drug maker also revealed more downsizing and R&D cuts as it braces for the expiry of the Lipitor patent later this year.

New president and CEO Ian Read, who took over for Jeffrey Kindler in December, said the company plans to close an R&D site in the UK and will trim R&D expenses by 18% as it refocuses on certain disease areas. Citing “challenging market conditions,” he also announced a $5-billlion share repurchase program and a lower 2012 revenue target.

Fourth-quarter sales came in at $17.6 billion, a 6% increase compared to the year-ago quarter, buoyed by products stemming from the Wyeth acquisition. Global sales of menopause pill Premarin and depression med Pristiq were up 23% to $261 million and 52% to $125 million, respectively. Pfizer said sales of anti-inflammatory product Enbrel, for which it books revenue outside the US and Canada, also drove the increase.

Legacy Pfizer drugs, though, were a drag on revenue. Worldwide, sales of cholesterol drug Lipitor shrank 17% to $2.6 billion for the quarter, after the patent for the world's best-selling drug ended in Canada and Spain. Sales of the statin fell 6% to $10.7 billion for the full year, a preview of the revenue erosion set to come when the US patent for Lipitor comes to a close this November.

Sales of other products in Pfizer's primary care business were lackluster. Pain drug Celebrex fell 7% to $622 million, and sales of ED pill Viagra slid 9% to $499 million.

Seeking to diversify, Pfizer's $68-billion Wyeth acquisition, completed in 2009, gave it a number of specialty drugs, plus a platform for developing biologics. An extensive cost-cutting program involves eliminating 19,000 jobs.

Other drug makers share its pain. “Throughout the next 24-36 months, we expect to see US patent expiries on Lipitor (PFE), Zyprexa (LLY), TriCor (ABT), Plavix (BMY), Singulair (MRK), and Cymbalta (LLY),” wrote Tony Butler, PhD, managing director and senior pharma analyst for Barclay's Capital, in a note to investors.

The patent expirations, along with European pricing pressures, US healthcare reform and an innovation drought, have hurt company performance across the sector. AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Abbott also lowered their 2011 guidance.
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Email Newsletters

MM&M Future Leaders


Register now

Early bird $1,950 before 31 October 2014

*Group discounts available on request 

MM&M EBOOK: PATIENT ACCESS

Patient access to pharmaceuticals is a tale of two worlds—affordability has improved for the majority, while the minority is hampered by cost, distribution and red tape. To provide marketers with a well-rounded perspective, MM&M presents this e-book chock full of key insights. Click here to access it.

More in Channel

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, September 15

Five things for pharma marketers to know: ...

Pharma has sought 76 meetings with FDA over biosimilars; Gilead licenses Sovaldi to India generic drugmakers; Pfizer and Ranbaxy Lipitor lawsuit dismissed.

Liraglutide, aiming for new indication, gets new name

Liraglutide, aiming for new indication, gets new name

Why Novo Nordisk is choosing not to leverage Victoza's brand equity as it seeks a weight-loss indication for liraglutide.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, September 12

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, ...

An FDA panel voted in favor of liraglutide for weight loss; Allergan investors backing an attempted takeover of the firm crossed a critical threshold; and 100 million health wearables are ...