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The American pharmaceutical company Merck & Co has performed well in the fight against generics competititors during the past quarter. Merck & Co expanded its profit in the third quarter slightly to $1.73 billion from $1.69 billion a year ago.
However, sales fell 4 percent to $11.49 billion. The reason for this was not only the strength of the dollar, but also the rising competition from generics companies. This is particularly noticeable for asthma blockbuster Singulair. Due to patent expiry (in August in the U.S.), sales of the drug in the quarter fell by 55 percent to 602 million dollars.

Lower acquisition costs and tax credits helped the second-largest U.S. drug manufacturer – behind Pfizer – cushion the slump in sales of blockbuster Singulair for asthma.
To compensate CEO Kenneth Frazier has therefore been developing newer drugs: these include the diabetes drugs Januvia and Janumet and the HIV drug Isentress. With Isentress, Merck & Co. saw sales increase to 399 million dollars in the quarter (16 percent). Janumet sales also increased by 16 percent to 405 million dollars – with Januvia Merck & Co. experienced a 975 million U.S. dollars increase (+15 percent).


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