Five of the top ten pharmas post strong second quarter gains

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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.
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