PFIZER's PROCARDIA XL 84% SALES RISE PACES 17% GROWTH IN PHARMACEUTICAL SALES
An 84% increase in sales for the once-a-day calcium channel blocker Procardia XL propelled Pfizer's third-quarter pharmaceutical sales up 17%, the company reported Oct. 17. "Pfizer's new pharmaceutical products accounted for 49% of total pharmaceutical sales this quarter, up from 33% last year," Pfizer President and CEO William Steere said. The antifungal Diflucan posted a 55% sales increase for the quarter, Steere said. Pfizer's consolidated sales increased 7.9% to $ 1.8 bil. for the quarter and 10.4% to $ 5.1 bil. year to date. Earnings rose 12.9% for the three months to $ 274.7 mil. and 11.6% to $ 721.2 mil. through nine months. Pfizer's consumer products segment posted a 2% sales gain for the quarter; Steere cited the increased profitability of the segment as a reason for the company's overall earnings increase. R&D outlays continue to rise (16% and 22% for the quarter and nine months, to $ 179.6 mil. and $ 533.9 mil., respectively). Steere pointed out that marketing expenses are increasing as Pfizer backs its currently marketed products and prepares for a new round of approvals. Zoloft, Zithromax and Minipress XL are approvable at FDA and Norvasc was recommended for approval by an advisory committee earlier this year. Marketing distribution & administrative expenses at Pfizer are ahead 14% year-to-date at nearly $ 2 bil. Other highlights from quarterly sales and earnings reports: Amgen product sales from Neupogen and Epogen more than doubled to $ 172 mil. for the third quarter and $ 442 mil. for the nine months. Chairman Gordon Binder cited increasing acceptance of the granulocyte colony stimulating factor in the U.S. and abroad as a reason for sales growth. Genetics Institute's recent European licensing agreement with Schering-Plough for M-CSF and IL-11 provided $ 11 mil. in quarterly revenue of the total R&D revenues of $ 23.7 mil. Genetics Institute also received $ 4.5 mil. in royalties from overseas marketing of its EPO product Marogen. The increased revenue stream helped the company post net income of $ 4.7 mil. for the quarter, and the company said it expects to be profitable in the fourth quarter as well. Genentech's Activase (TPA) continues to feel pressure from other thrombolytic therapies after the GISSI trial results were released earlier this year. TPA sales were down in the quarter to $ 46.7 mil. from $ 48.2 mil. a year ago and were also lower than the approximately $ 50 mil. in sales in the previous quarter. The 3.1% decline was offset by an 18.2% increase to $ 47.5 mil. for Protropin human growth hormone. Total third quarter revenues were up 20% to $ 135 mil. FoxMeyer reported a sales increase of 5.1% to $ 736 mil. in the wholesaler's fiscal second quarter, its first as a publicly- traded company after it completed a 10.35 mil. share offering Aug. 29. Net income was $ 5.8 mil., helped by a $ 1.6 mil. operating loss carryforward. "These results are especially gratifying in light of the previously announced change in our relationship with Kmart from primary to secondary supplier," FoxMeyer President and CEO Robert King said. Chart omitted.
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