SQUIBB CAPOTEN/CAPOZIDE FIRST QUARTER VOLUME NEARLY DOUBLES AS ACE INHIBITOR SALES ARE OVER $100 MIL.; MARION EARNINGS GROW OVER 40% FOR 13th STRAIGHT QUARTER
A 97% jump in Capoten/Capozide sales was the cornerstone of Squibb's 23% first quarter volume increase to $558.9 mil. The company reported that for the three months ended March 31, worldwide sales of the ACE inhibitor single ingredient and as a diuretic combo reached $105.3 mil. Together, Capoten and Capozide now make up over 40% of Squibb's pharmaceutical volume. The two products accounted for most of the growth in the firm's cardiovascular line, which increased 63% to $145.9 mil. during the 13-week period, and were a major contributor to the 26% boost in Rx drug sales to $262.2 mil. So far, Capoten's performance appears unaffected by the launch of a second ACE inhibitor, Merck's Vasotec, in the first quarter, reflecting the growing market for the drug class, Squibb suggested. According to the company, Vasotec's market entry "has served to expand the usage of this new class of antihypertensive drug." The company reported that for the three months ended March 31, new Capoten/Capozide Rxs were 119% higher than in the first quarter of 1985, reaching a monthly high of 212,000 in March, up from 195,000 in February, Squibb said. Recently, Pharmaceutical Data Services reported that new Vasotec Rxs hit 14,000 in the first two weeks of March ("The Pink Sheet" April 7, T&G-5). Squibb posted first quarter net earnings of $85.5 mil., reflecting a 27% increase over 1985. The company also recognized the favorable effect of a falling U.S. dollar in its overseas operations, noting that net sales would have increased 19%, rather than 23%, by excluding the effects of the exchange rate. With Cardizem now holding a 36% share of the calcium channel blocker market, up five percentage points from a year ago, Marion reported a 54% increase in third quarter net earnings to $13.7 mil. "This performance represents Marion's 13th consecutive quarter of earnings growth exceeding 40%," Marion President and CEO Fred Lyons commented. The company said that new Rxs for Cardizem are totaling more than 150,000 per month. Commenting on the performance of its other principal Rx product, the firm noted that "the outstanding sales pattern for Carafate also continued during the quarter with total Rxs now being written at a rate of 45% ahead of one year ago." Marion reported third quarter sales of $102 mil., up 26% over the comparable period in 1985. For the nine months ended March 31, volume rose 33% to $280.6 mil., while net earnings leaped 57% to $40.4 mil. Lilly said that oral antibiotics led pharmaceutical sales in the first quarter, with Ceclor the largest contributor to volume growth. The company also noted that Keflex sales were up significantly, pointing to the high incidence of respiratory infections during the period. For the thirteen weeks ended March 31, Lilly reported that sales rose 9% to $908.3 mil., while net income increased 7% to $172.6 mil. "Our record sales for the quarter were due primarily to significant growth in the pharmaceutical business," Lilly Chairman Richard Wood said. "This growth occurred worldwide, but pharmaceutical sales were especially strong in international markets." During the period Lilly completed its acquisition of Hybritech. Strong sales growth in pharmaceutical specialties and proprietary products helped Sterling post a 7% volume increase to $420.2 mil. Net earnings showed diuble-digit growth, rising 11% to $35.4 mil. "In the U.S., 1986 first quarter sales of pharmaceutical specialties increase 13% [to $62.5 mil.] aided in large part by the successful introduction of Omnipaque brand of iohexol," Sterling reported. The firm's OTC sales were up 20% to $75 mil., "due in large part to increased sales of . . . analgesics, principally Bayer aspirin and Panadol brand of acetaminophen." Sterling also said that international sales rose 11% to $170.8 mil. and household product sales fell 6% to $116.3 mil. Announcing first quarter results, SmithKline Beckman said worldwide pharmaceutical sales increased 15% to $461.2 mil., "spurred by excellent results in the U.S. for Tagament, Dyazide and our line of cephalosporin antibiotics." Despite a 12.1% sales increase to $863.1 mil., however, SmithKline's net earnings plunged 11.7% to $116.4 mil. The company noted a $28.9 mil. charge to net earnings in connection with an early retirement program and the withdrawal of several OTC products, including Contac, due to tampering. Chart omitted.
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