TAGAMET IS UP 4% WORLDWIDE, BUT SMITHKLINE's OVERALL THIRD-QUARTER ETHICAL DRUG VOLUME CLIMBS 12.5%; OMNIPAQUE PACES STERLING's 35% U.S. SALES GROWTH
Tagamet's 40% worldwide sales growth during the third quarter contributed to a 12.5% increase in SmithKline's ethical pharmaceutical sales compared to the same period in 1986 to $521.9 mil., the company reported Oct. 20. "The recent approval of a gastritis indication for Tagamet in Japan and of a chewable tablet, Dyspamet, in the United Kingdom are evidence of the vitality of this product," SmithKline stated. The third-quarter sales gain was achieved despite continued pressure from Glaxo's Zantac and Merck's Pepcid in the U.S. anti-ulcer market and the launch of Bolar/Schein's generic triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide in the cardiovascular area. Bolar is estimating that its generic version of Smith-Kline's diuretic combo Dyazide could generate sales of $50 mil. its first year on the market. SmithKline Beckman corporate volume for the three months ended Sept. 30 was up 15.2% to just over $1.1 bil., generating an 11.6% increase in net earnings to $149.6 mil. Nine-month net earnings were up 14.6% to $428.1 mil. on a 15.8% sales increase to $3.13 bil. Despite difficult competitive situations for its top two drug products, the firm is still showing a healthy net-to-sales profit margin of 13.68% through the first three quarters. Like many other U.S. based, multinational drug firms, SmithKline reported that its third-quarter sales results, benefited from favorable currency exchange rates. "Foreign currency translation had the effect of adding $41 mil. to quarterly sales," the firm noted. Without the exchange rate gains, SmithKline sales would have been up about 11% in the quarter. After a number of years in which the drug business supported the other segments (particularly Beckman instruments and diagnostics), SmithKline is getting some help outside the pharmaceutical business. "One element of our strategy has been higher sales and earnings growth from nonpharmaceutical business," SmithKline Chairman Henry Wendt said. "For the quarter, Beckman Instruments, SmithKline Bio-Science Labs and our Eye Care Group had strong sales increases, with earnings growing faster than sales." Highlighting the introduction of a new line of contact lens care products, SmithKline noted that Allergan third-quarter sales jumped 30% to $146.8 mil. Beckman quarterly sales were up 15% to $173.6 mil., while sales from the clinical labs business grew 14% to $106.5 mil. Sterling reported a 34.7% jump in third-quarter U.S. drug sales to $99.2 mil. on the strength of Omnipaque sales. Commenting on the three-month performance of its U.S. pharmaceutical subsidiary, Winthrop Labs, Sterling noted that "demand increased for many of these prescription products, led by Omnipaque (iohexol). This nonionic diagnostic imaging agent, which is now Sterling's largest-selling pharmaceutical specialty, continues to show exceptional growth." Omnipaque sales growth will almost certainly lift Sterling's U.S. drug business over the $300 mil. mark in annual sales during 1987. Through nine months, U.S. pharmaceutical sales are up 20% to $254.7 mil. Sterling's proprietary product sales were up 10.6% in the third quarter to $106.4 mil. "Growth was paced by Bayer aspirin, which continued to strengthen in both sales and marketing share," Sterling reported. The company's recent ad campaign for Bayer aggressively promotes aspirin's benefit in reducing the chances of a second heart attack. Overall, Sterling's corporate sales increased 15% in the third quarter of 1987 to $641.7 mil. Net income also grew 15%, to $59.5 mil. Nine-month sales were up 16%, accompanied by a 15% increase in net earnings to $145.2 mil. New Cardizem prescriptions increased almost 30% during the first quarter ended Sept. 30, Marion reported, from 700,000 in the first three months of fiscal 1987 to 900,000. Three-month corporate volume increased 36% to $170 mil., while net earnings jumped 68% to $34.9 mil. "This performance, which constitutes Marion's 21st consecutive quarter of earnings growth of approximately 40% or more, is attributable primarily to the continuing growth of Cardizem, Carafate and certain other products," President Fred Lyon, Jr., commented. "The company anticipates that fiscal 1988 earnings will exceed 50% growth for the sixth consecutive year." Marion currently has NDAs pending for Cardizem's use in the treatment of hypertension as well as for a sustained-release formulation. Earlier in October, the company announced an agreement with Squibb covering the development of a Cardizem/Capoten combo product. Cardizem's patent expires in February 1988; however, Marion has regulatory exclusivity until November 1992. In addition, Marion noted that sales of the anti-ulcer product Carafate have increased more than 70% since the first quarter of 1986. New prescriptions are currently exceeding 300,000 per month compared to 225,000 a year ago. During fiscal 1987, Carafate become Marion's second product to reach $100 mil. in annual sales. Squibb reported that worldwide sales of Capoten and Capozide increased 48% in the third quarter of 1987 to $200 mil. and made up almost half of the company's pharmaceutical business. Worldwide drug volume was $480 mil. for the three months, 23% higher than in the third quarter of 1986. Fueled by Capoten, sales of the company's cardiovascular product line rose 33% to $237 mil. The beta blocker Corgard and the combo product Corzide "continued to maintain market share, but sales were lower for the quarter and nine months, reflecting recent trends in the beta-blocker market as a whole," Squibb said. Nine-month sales of Capoten and Capozide increased 53% to $554 mil. In addition, the product line could get a substantial sales boost in 1988 with the expected approval of the ACE inhibitor for mild to moderate congestive heart failure. An NDA for that indication is currently pending at FDA, and the agency's Cardio-Renal Drugs Advisory Committee appears to be leaning toward ACE inhibitors as the treatment of choice in heart failure. Squibb third-quarter corporate volume topped $500 mil., the company reported, with sales rising 22% to $561 mil. Net income jumped 30% to $109 mil. Nine-month sales rose 23% to $1.6 bil., while net earnings were up 33% to $274 mil. Net income figures include $4 mil. and $10 mil. from the sale of discontinued businesses in the three months and nine months, respectively. Squibb noted that currency exchange rate fluctuations had a favorable sales impact of about $26 mil. in the third quarter and $70 mil. in the nine months. The company also reported strong sales growth of its monobactam antibiotic product Azactam. Launched in the U.S. in January 1987, Azactam generated almost $22 mil. in third quarter sales, compared to $9 mil. a year ago, and $54 mil. for the nine months, up from $17 mil. in 1986. "Italy, the world's third largest injectable antibiotic market, remains Squibbs's largest market for Azactam," the firm said. Led by Isovue and Isovue-M, non-ionic imaging agents for use in angiography and myelography, third-quarter sales of Squibb's diagnostic products increased 64% to nearly $40 mil. For the nine-months, diagnostic sales were up 66% to $110.7 mil. Sales of the firm's medical products segment in the third quarter were $81.5 mil., up 18% from the comparable 1986 period. Chart omitted.
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