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Global Sales Of Key P.R.-Manufactured Drugs Reached $12.9 Billion In 1Q03

Local Operations Of Top 5 Pharmaceutical Companies Accounted For 55.8% Of Their Worldwide Sales For The Quarter


May 15, 2003
Copyright © 2003 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

A CARIBBEAN BUSINESS analysis of five of the top local pharmaceutical manufacturers reveals products manufactured in Puerto Rico accounted for 55.8%, or $12.9 billion, of the companies global drug sales in first-quarter (1Q) 2003.

Total sales for the five companies--Pfizer Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb, Amgen, Eli Lilly & Co., and GlaxoSmithKline--were $23.1 billion during 1Q 2003, a 9.5% increase compared with $21.1 billion in 1Q 2002.

Not surprisingly, Pfizer Inc. came in first with $7.24 billion in locally manufactured drug sales, which represents 85.2% of the company’s $8.5 billion in total sales for the quarter. Already a strong pharmaceutical contender, its $60 billion acquisition of Pharmacia will place Pfizer in an enviable position in the industry, though it will have to rely on a number of cost-cutting measures to keep up revenue.

Pfizer’s blockbuster in 1Q03 was anti-allergy pill Zyrtec, which experienced a sales gain of 32.6% to $293 million from $221 million in 1Q02. Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering treatment, remained the company’s top seller, with 1Q03 sales of $2.1 billion, a 16.7% increase over 1Q02 sales of $1.8 billion. Antibiotic Zithromax continued to do well, with $549 million in sales for 1Q03, a 34.9% increase compared with $407 million in 1Q02. And even though Viagra’s competition keeps coming on strong (GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer, Eli Lilly, and Icos all have credible candidates), sales of the drug rose 12.6% to $475 million in the quarter compared with $422 million during 1Q02.

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s 1Q03 sales climbed slightly (1.1%) from a year ago to $4.71 billion, led by Pravachol ($613 million), Avapro ($175 million), Glucovance ($108 million), and Glucophage ($101 million). Abilify, a new treatment for schizophrenia that’s expected to be manufactured in Puerto Rico soon, has captured 4% of the weekly new-prescription market share on the U.S. mainland in its fifth month, earning $37 million in the first quarter.

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Plavix, a cardiovascular product, showed an 11.5% reduction in sales (from $461 million to $408 million), the result in part of overpurchasing by domestic wholesalers at the end of 2002 in anticipation of a January price hike. A recent Stockholm School of Economics study showed that Plavix compares favorably with other cardiovascular therapies, including those for patients with acute coronary syndrome and unstable angina.

Biotechnology company Amgen’s local manufacturing production also accounted for a large portion of the company’s 1Q03 revenue, at $1.34 billion, or 74.4%, of its total $1.8 billion in sales. Except for Neupogen, which showed a 20% decline in sales to $284 million in 1Q03 from $355 million in 1Q02, Amgen’s biotech products showed sales gains. Aranesp increased a whopping 550% to $254.8 million from $39.2 million. Bestseller Epogen had sales of $547.1 million, a 6.8% increase over the $512.2 million sold in 1Q02. New product Neulasta’s sales were strong at $257.9 million.

In April, Amgen announced it would add another $400 million to its already expanding $400 million biotechnology center in Juncos. The announcement was made during a visit by Amgen CEO Kevin Sharer, who said the site would include manufacturing plants for key biologics, full-testing-quality analytical laboratories, a new syringe-line facility, a high-speed packaging facility, warehouses, and administration buildings. With a current work force of 550, it is expected that 600 new jobs will be created over the next four years.

Eli Lilly & Co., which is investing $450 million to build its own biotechnology plant in Carolina, produced in Puerto Rico 45.5% of the company’s global sales in 1Q03. Double-digit growth by Evista, used to treat osteoporosis, and Zyprexa, a treatment for schizophrenia, was partially responsible for the company’s sales gains. Once Eli Lilly’s biotechnology plant is operating in Puerto Rico, another of the company’s key products, Humalog, will be produced locally.

Lilly’s earnings were down 35% for 1Q03 as a result of charges related to job cuts and the write-down of certain assets. Eli Lilly is waiting for regulatory approval on a number of new drugs for osteoporosis, depression, attention deficit disorder, and impotence to offset decreasing Prozac sales (down 19.4% to $150 million).

Sales of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) antidepressant drug Paxil were up 25%, reaching $782.7 million in 1Q03 compared with $626.2 million in 1Q02. Paxil’s sales, which amount to more than $3 billion a year, might be hurt by Par Pharmaceuticals and Apotex Inc., which plan to begin selling a generic version of the drug. Multiple generic competitors can reduce a drug’s price by as much as 80%.

GSK still has two strong players in Avandia and Coreg. Sales of insulin agent Avandia rose 38.9% to $361 million during 1Q03 from $260 million during the same period last year. Coreg, a treatment for severe heart failure, had 1Q03 sales of $134.6 million, a 57% increase compared with $85.6 million during 1Q02.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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