Apr 20, 2021

Drug Company Banks Expectation-Busting Profits for Q1 While Continuing to Hike Rx Prices During Pandemic

Johnson & Johnson kicked off the first quarterly earnings season of the year for Big Pharma Tuesday by reporting sales and revenue beats driven by price-hiking and anti-competitive behavior on prescription drugs.

Johnson & Johnson

  • Johnson & Johnson beat Wall Street expectations, raking in $22.3 billion in sales in the first quarter and boosting first quarter profits by seven percent.
  • Analysts attributed the company’s flush quarter to better-than-expected pharmaceutical sales, which generated $12.19 billion in revenue, a 9.6 percent year-over-year increase.
These expectation-busting earnings come as the company has continued to hike prices on prescription drugs, despite a growing crisis of affordability and while receiving billions from taxpayers for the development and acquisition of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Johnson & Johnson

  • The brand name giant rang in the year by hiking prices on nearly 30 prescription drugs.
  • Last year, Johnson & Johnson has hiked prices more than two dozen times at an average rate more than two times the rate of inflation.
  • Johnson & Johnson raised the price of its blockbuster drug Stelara by nearly five percent in 2020.
  • The company increased the price of schizophrenia medication Invega Sustenna by 10.7 percent in 2019 with no evidence that the drugs had been improved.
  • The company’s blockbuster cancer drug Imbruvica costs an eye-popping $180,000 per year.
  • Spending on Imbruvica is expected to exceed $41 billion from 2027-2036 thanks to an anti-competitive patent scheme which has already extended the monopoly on the cancer drug by more than nine years.
  • In 2018, Johnson & Johnson sought to triple the price of Imbruvica, only to ultimately back down amid fierce public blowback.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we continue to monitor Q1 earnings announcements from Big Pharma.