SHARE
COPY LINK

ASTRAZENECA

AstraZeneca profits drop as key patents expire

Anglo-Swedish pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca on Thursday said its net profits sank 56 percent in the third quarter, as group revenues tumbled on the expiry of key drug patents.

AstraZeneca profits drop as key patents expire

Earnings after tax slumped to $1.53 billion in the three months to the end of September, compared with $3.48 billion in the same period of 2011, AstraZeneca said in a results statement.

Sales tumbled 19 percent to $6.68 billion.

“As expected, the revenue decline in the third quarter reflected the ongoing effect from the loss of exclusivity on several brands,” AstraZeneca said in the statement.

The company added that its financial targets for the full year remained unchanged.

The company is facing crucial patent expires up until 2015 on drugs such as schizophrenia treatment Seroquel and heartburn and ulcer drug Nexium.

It will also suffer the loss of patent protection in the United States for its best-selling anti-cholesterol drug, Crestor, in 2016.

The latest earnings update was meanwhile the first under the group’s new chief executive Pascal Soriot.

The Frenchman who was previously a senior executive at Swiss drugs group Roche took up his role at the start of October following the resignation of American David Brennan, who stepped down as AstraZeneca boss in April.

“As I take up my new role as chief executive, my priority is to restore the company to growth and scientific leadership,” Soriot said in Thursday’s statement.

Earlier this year, Brennan announced plans to cut 7,300 jobs by 2014 to improve profitability at AstraZeneca, which has come under heavy pressure in recent times from generic drugs competition.

AFP/The Local

Follow The Local on Twitter

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

NORWAY

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland

Norway, which has suspended the use of AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine until further notice, will send 216,000 doses to Sweden and Iceland at their request, the Norwegian health ministry said Thursday.

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland
Empty vials of the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

“I’m happy that the vaccines we have in stock can be put to use even if the AstraZeneca vaccine has been paused in Norway,” Health Minister Bent Høie said in a statement.

The 216,000 doses, which are currently stored in Norwegian fridges, have to be used before their expiry dates in June and July.

Sweden will receive 200,000 shots and Iceland 16,000 under the expectation they will return the favour at some point. 

“If we do resume the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, we will get the doses back as soon as we ask,” Høie said.

Like neighbouring Denmark, Norway suspended the use of the AstraZeneca jab on March 11 in order to examine rare but potentially severe side effects, including blood clots.

Among the 134,000 AstraZeneca shots administered in Norway before the suspension, five cases of severe thrombosis, including three fatal ones, had been registered among relatively young people in otherwise good health. One other person died of a brain haemorrhage.

On April 15, Norway’s government ignored a recommendation from the Institute of Public Health to drop the AstraZeneca jab for good, saying it wanted more time to decide.

READ MORE: Norway delays final decision on withdrawal of AstraZeneca vaccine 

The government has therefore set up a committee of Norwegian and international experts tasked with studying all of the risks linked to the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which is also suspected of causing blood clots.

Both are both based on adenovirus vector technology. Denmark is the only European country to have dropped the AstraZeneca
vaccine from its vaccination campaign, and said on Tuesday it would “lend” 55,000 doses to the neighbouring German state of Schleswig-Holstein.

SHOW COMMENTS