Big Pharma Earnings Watch: GlaxoSmithKline

Jul 24, 2019

Big Pharma Giants Now Three for Three Besting Forecasts After Hiking Prices


More Big Pharma giants are reporting earnings this week for the second quarter of 2019. Today GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), one of the five largest drug manufacturers in the world, reported that revenue rose five percent in Q2, beating profit expectations. Sales were about $9.76 billion.

How do brand name drug makers like GSK keep surpassing earnings forecasts and boosting profits? By price-gouging American patients.

A report from Rx Savings Solutions earlier this year revealed that GSK was one of more than three dozen drug manufacturers that raised prices at the start of 2019. As The Wall Street Journal reported in January, the company confirmed that it would raise prices on dozens of the drugs in the company’s portfolio.

Then, just earlier this month, GSK announced it was raising the price of their ovarian cancer drug Zejula. The price of a 30-day, 100mg supply of Zejula rose five percent from $6,567 to $6,913. When the drug was first approved by the FDA in 2017, it cost $4,917.

The company is betting big on Zejula. The drug was originally manufactured by biotech company Tesaro, but GSK gained the rights to the drug when it purchased the company in a $5.1 billion deal last year.

The expectations-beating showing from GSK makes Big Pharma companies three for three in exceeding earnings expectations for Q2.

GSK follows Johnson & Johnson and Novartis who also announced higher-than-expected earnings last week. Stay tuned for earnings reports from Bristol Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, Roche and AbbVie later this week.