No­var­tis still big­gest drug­maker; Gilead sees huge growth

Modern Healthcare - - BY THE NUMBERS - By Michael San­dler

A strong sales year for its pre­scrip­tion prod­ucts and par­tic­i­pa­tion in emerg­ing mar­kets en­abled No­var­tis Corp. to main­tain its po­si­tion as the largest phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany in 2014. Mean­while, Ac­tavis saw a 50.5% rev­enue in­crease, and Bio­gen’s rev­enue grew by 40%.

Sales of No­var­tis prod­ucts in­tro­duced in 2009 or later or that have ex­clu­siv­ity un­til at least 2018 in key mar­kets rose 18% to $18.6 bil­lion in 2014, or 32% of the com­pany’s net sales. Gilenya, a treat­ment for mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis, brought in $2.5 bil­lion in 2014, the com­pany said in its an­nual 10-K re­port. Afin­i­tor, a treat­ment for breast and kid­ney can­cer, gar­nered $1.6 bil- lion in sales, up 22% over the prior year. Tasigna, a treat­ment for chronic myeloid leukemia, saw $1.5 bil­lion in sales, up 24%. Over­all, No­var­tis’ net sales reached $58 bil­lion in 2014, a slight in­crease over 2013.

The com­pany said ef­forts to ex­pand its pres­ence in new mar­kets such as Asia, Africa and Latin Amer­ica led to higher net sales. Sales were up 18% in Brazil and 15% in China, and rose 11% over­all in emerg­ing mar­kets.

No­var­tis gained 13 ma­jor ap­provals in key mar­kets in 2014, most no­tably Zyka­dia, a U.S. drug that treats lung can­cer, No­var­tis spokes­woman El­iz­a­beth Power said.

The 2015 out­look is pos­i­tive, No­var­tis re­ported. It re­ceived ap­proval in Jan­uary in the U.S. and Europe for Cosen­tyx, which treats pso­ri­a­sis. The com­pany also re­ceived ap­proval from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion to pro­duce Jakavi, a drug that treats a rare form of blood can­cer, she said.

Mean­while, Gilead Sciences, based in Foster City, Calif., saw its to­tal rev­enue sky­rocket 122% to $24.9 bil­lion in 2014, rank­ing it num­ber eight among drug­mak­ers. The com­pany cred­ited sales of So­valdi and Har­voni, both used to treat hep­ati­tis C, and Stri­bild and Com­plera/Eviplera, both used to treat HIV. Gilead’s over­all prod­uct sales were $24.5 bil­lion in 2014, com­pared with $10.8 bil­lion in 2013.

Gilead said while it doesn’t ex­pect the same huge growth in 2015 as in 2014, it plans to ex­pand in Ja­pan and an­tic­i­pates the prof­itable in­tro­duc­tion of So­valdi and Har­voni there.

Pfizer’s rev­enue dropped nearly 4% in 2014 to $49.6 bil­lion. The com­pany said the ex­pi­ra­tion in the U.S. and Canada of the co-pro­mo­tion term of col­lab­o­ra­tion agree­ment for En­brel, a treat­ment for plaque pso­ri­a­sis and rheuma­toid arthri­tis, cost it $1.4 bil­lion in 2014. It also noted the con­tin­ued ero­sion of branded Lip­i­tor.

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