Nov 14, 2023

Another Blockbuster Quarter for Profits as Big Pharma Maintains Business-as-Usual Approach to Price Gouging Americans

Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca rounded out earnings calls for Big Pharma for the third quarter. All three Big Pharma firms reported earnings that topped Wall Street expectations after participating in price hikes earlier this year.

Eli Lilly

  • Eli Lilly smashed Wall Street estimates, bringing in $9.50 billion in revenue, up 37 percent year-over-year.
  • Several of Eli Lilly’s blockbuster prescription drugs performed strongly, including diabetes drugs Mounjaro, Trulicity and Jardiance as well as breast cancer drug Verzenio.
  • Sales of Mounjaro reached $1.41 billion in the quarter.
  • Trulicity brought in $1.67 billion and Jardiance brought in $700 million – up 22 percent.
  • Cancer drug Verzenio brought in an additional $1.04 billion, up 68 percent.
  • The Big Pharma giant is now the largest pharmaceutical company in the U.S., with a market cap of $551 billion.


  • GlaxoSmithKline topped Wall Street analysts’ earnings and sales estimates for Q3.
  • The Big Pharma company reported profit of $1.77 billion.
  • GSK’s strong performance was buoyed by its new vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Arexvy. Arexvy brought in $862 million in the quarter, “trouncing analysts’ expectations,” according to Reuters.
  • Revenue from GSK’s vaccines rose 33 percent year-over-year, driven by strong sales of Arexvy as well as the company’s popular shingles vaccine Shingrix. Overall, the company’s vaccines division brought in $3.9 billion.


  • AstraZeneca topped Wall Street analysts’ earnings and profit forecasts for the third quarter.
  • The Big Pharma firm reported third quarter revenue of $11.49 billion.
  • The company’s earnings beat was driven by strong performance from its oncology portfolio, which according to coverage, “remains the British pharma’s largest business and primary growth driver.”
  • Sales of cancer drugs amounted to $4.7 billion in the third quarter, up 17 percent.
  • Oncology drugs Tagrisso and Lynparza brought in $1.47 billion and $702 million in the quarter, respectively.
  • Enhertu, another oncology drug in AstraZeneca’s portfolio, brought in an additional $675 million.
  • AstraZeneca is one of UK’s biggest companies by market capitalization – worth more than $195 billion.

The strong third quarter results for all three companies follow price increases across the companies’ portfolios in recent years.

Eli Lilly

  • Eli Lilly started 2023 by raising prices on 16 prescription drugs, including blockbuster diabetes drugs Trulicity and Mounjaro, both by five percent.
  • Eli Lilly also hiked the price of its best-selling oncology drug Verzenio, at the start of the year, by 5.5 percent.
  • This summer, Lilly hiked the price of its blockbuster cancer drug, Cyramza, by two percent.
  • The company began last year with more than a dozen price hikes, including another five percent increase on Trulicity.
  • Last summer, Lilly increased the price of its COVID-19 antibody treatment by an estimated 14 percent as coverage shifted to the commercial market from the U.S. government.


  • GlaxoSmithKline has hiked prices more than 50 times each of the last two years.
  • The drug maker hiked the price of its blockbuster shingles vaccine Shingrix by 6.9 percent in January.
  • In 2021, GlaxoSmithKline increased prices 46 times, including on top-selling respiratory drug Trelegy Ellipta.
  • Earlier this year, GlaxoSmithKline received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), called Arexvy. Already, the Big Pharma firm appears to be working in lockstep with fellow drug maker Pfizer to increase prices across the new category.
  • Ahead of Arexvy’s approval, GSK said it anticipated pricing the shot somewhere between $60 and $185. Immediately following FDA approval, GSK indicated their price would land in the higher end of the range, above $120.
  • Following approval of Pfizer’s RSV vaccine, Abrysvo, GSK shared a new range, increasing their projected price to be between $200 and $295.


  • AstraZeneca has hiked prices on 25 prescription drugs so far in 2023, including best-selling oncology drugs Tagrisso by three percent and Lynparza by 6.8 percent.
  • The brand-name drug maker hiked prices on 23 medications in 2022.
  • In 2021, AstraZeneca increased prices on 20 different drugs – including on blockbuster asthma medicine Symbicort.

Read more about AbbVie and Amgen’s third quarter results HERE.

Read more on third quarter earnings from Novartis, Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb HERE.

Read about Johnson and Johnson’s Wall Street topping third quarter earnings HERE.