Lipitor losses hit Q2 revenues


Pfizer suffered a 1% reduction in revenue in Q2 after the loss of patent exclusivity for several products, most notably its cholesterol blockbuster Lipitor (atorvastatin).

Sales of the drug fell 8% to $2.59bn, but revenue still totalled $16.9bn after favourable exchange rates and the addition of King Pharmaceuticals.

Ian Read, President and CEO, says the company’s performance was “in-line with our expectations”.

The Q2 results exclude the recent sale of its Capsugel unit to KKR for $2.38 billion.

US revenues were down 9% to $6.7bn compared to the same period a year ago after the health reforms across the Atlantic cost the company $158 million. But the news was more positive as international sales were up 5%, despite a 3% operational decline.

International income represented nearly two-thirds (61%) of the company’s revenues in Q2, compared with 57% last year, after US sales dropped to 39%.

Generic alternatives of Effexor, Protonix and Zosyn in the US saw Pfizer’s Established Products unit sales drop by nearly a quarter (23%) to $631 million.

Primary Care unit revenues were driven by patent-protected products such as Lyrica, Spiriva and Pristiq, but still suffered a 10% loss compared to the year before to $586 million. Sales were impacted by the loss of exclusivity of Lipitor in Canada and Spain, plus Aricept in the US.

Revenue was also down 5% in the company’s Speciality Care unit and 3% in its Emerging Markets division following exclusivity rights for Lipitor expiring in Brazil and Mexico.

“Although results were impacted by losses of exclusivity of several key products in certain geographies, most notably in our Established Products business, I am pleased that many of our core products, primarily Lyrica, Enbrel and the Prevnar/Prevenar franchise, continued to perform well overall and the fundamentals of our business remain strong,” said Ian Read.

Sales of Lyrica (pregabalin) increased 19% to $908 million, Enbrel increased 13% outside of North America to $914 and Prevnar almost doubled its revenue (44%) to $821.

The company has now readjusted its financial expectation for 2011 increasing reported revenue up from $65.2 to $67.2 billion.