Big Pharma Earnings Watch: Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, Roche

Jul 29, 2019

Three More Drug Makers Top Earnings Expectations in Q2


Today three more price-gouging Big Pharma companies reported better-than-expected earnings in Q2 and raised forecasts for the rest of the year — after engaging in a frenzy of price hikes this year.

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb reported revenues of $6.27 billion – 11 percent higher than predicted – and raised sales outlooks.


  • AstraZeneca reported $5.72 billion in sales vs. $5.16 billion during the same period last year. The company now expects product sales to increase by a low double-digit percentage this year.


  • Roche reported $30.94 billion in revenue in the first half of the year and expects its sales to increase in the mid-to-high single-digit percentage rate.

These Big Pharma giants have all continued to hike prices on the drugs in their portfolios, continuing to put profits over people, even as one in four Americans struggle to afford their medications.

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb rang in 2019 with a round of price hikes topping out at six percent. A study released in January found that the company had the most price hikes per drug (81.5) between 2015 and 2019 of any Big Pharma giant.


  • AstraZeneca raised the price of cholesterol medicine Crestor after they learned that a generic competitor was coming to the market. The drug cost $300 per month when it first came out, but the price increased several times before the generic became available – one price hike was as much as 15 percent.


  • Roche was one of several companies that announced price hikes earlier this month. Last year, the company pledged in July that it wouldn’t raise prices, but they had already increased prices of nine drugs by an average of about three percent, including Herceptin, Rituxan and Avastin – three of their top-selling drugs.

With Big Pharma continuing to live the high life while price-gouging American patients, policymakers in Washington need to act now, more than ever, to hold the industry accountable.

A trend has begun to emerge. So far Johnson & Johnson, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline have also beat earnings expectations in Q2. Tomorrow we’ll see if AbbVie closes out the week on the same note.