Nov 5, 2020

Big Pharma Giant Sees Profits Jump After July Price Hikes

Big Pharma giants Amgen and Sanofi topped earnings expectations while continuing to hike prices, according to third-quarter earnings reported last week.


  • The company beat expectations, reporting earnings per share of $4.37 for Q3, better than the estimate of $3.78.
  • The company reported sales of $6.4 billion in the third quarter, up 12 percent thanks to new psoriasis treatment Otezla.
  • Otezla accounted for an eye-popping $538 million in sales.
  • Sanofi beat earnings expectations this quarter and reported a revenue of $9.92 billion.
  • Strong earnings this quarter was driven by eczema and asthma drug Dupixent.
The strong earnings reports come as both companies have continued to hike prices on their prescription drugs.


  • Already this year, the company has hiked prices five times – including on popular drug Prolia – by an average of five percent.
  • A recent House Committee on Oversight report found that Amgen hiked prices of blockbuster drugs Enbrel and Sensipar in order to meet revenue targets.
  • In 2019, Amgen hiked the price of its blockbuster osteoporosis drug Prolia and heart medication Corlanor.
  • Price hikes on the company’s cancer drug Neulasta were not supported by new clinical evidence and accounted for an unnecessary increase in U.S. drug spending of nearly $500 million from 2017-2018 according to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER).
  • Sanofi has already raised prices at least nine times this year by an average of five percent – more than two times the rate of inflation.
  • In the first week of July, Sanofi was among Big Pharma giants that announced new price hikes despite the unprecedented economic uncertainty facing millions of Americans grappling with the pandemic.
  • Dupixent was one of the primary sales drivers for the company in Q2. This year, Sanofi raised the price of Dupixent by three percent.

Earlier this year, Sanofi was also caught exploiting charities to boost the company’s bottom line at the expense of taxpayers. In a settlement, Sanofi was ordered to pay the U.S. government nearly $12 million after the company “used a charity that helps cover Medicare patients’ out-of-pocket drug costs as a means to pay them kickbacks to use a high-priced multiple sclerosis drug,” Reuters reports. “Sanofi used a supposed charity as a conduit to funnel money to patients taking Sanofi’s very expensive drug, all at the expense of the Medicare program,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling. Read more HERE.

See how other brand name drug companies GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson also beat Wall Street expectations after hiking prices on American patients HERE, HERE and HERE.

Stay tuned as we continue to monitor Q3 earnings announcements from Big Pharma.