AstraZeneca hit by patent expiries as sales slump

 

Drugmaker AstraZeneca has showed it is still languishing in intensive care after patent expiries triggered an 8 per per cent fall in sales to $25.7

Despite new chief executive Pascal Soriot’s recent string of acquisitions to boost Astra’s pipeline, the pharmaceuticals giant admitted that it expects revenues to fall again this year by “a low-to-mid-single-digit percentage”.

Astra is suffering from blockbuster drugs, including cholesterol-buster Crestor and heartburn and ulcer treatment Nexium, facing cheaper, generic competition in Australia and Europe respectively.

Those patent expiries, as well as the cost of acquisitions, including spending up to $4.1 billion buying out rival Bristol-Myers Squibb’s stake in a diabetes-medicine development venture, saw Astra’s pre-tax profit crash 57 per cent to $3.3 billion in 2013.

In the crucial United States market, Astra’s revenues fell 7 per cent in the last three months of 2013, while in Europe, where treatments including anti-psychotic drug Seroquel IR dropped out of patent, sales lost 2 per cent in the same period.

The US picture is set to worsen this year: from May, Nexium will face generic competition. Astra admitted that US healthcare reforms, which force drugmakers to pay annual fees, had cost $318 million in the fourth quarter.

Soriot, who has cut Astra’s headcount by more than 11,000 over two years, said: “Our financial performance for 2013 reflects the ongoing impact from the loss of exclusivity for several key brands. In the near term these headwinds will remain challenging, however I am confident that we can return to growth… and expect our 2017 revenues will be broadly in line with 2013.”

He also said Astra’s late-stage pipeline of drugs that are close to being put forward for regulatory approval has nearly doubled.

The shares fell 3.5%, or 135.5p, to 3741.5p.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before