Big Pharma Earnings Watch: Johnson & Johnson

Jul 17, 2019

Drug Maker Bests Q2 Forecasts After Hiking Prices on Dozens of Drugs in 2019

It’s that time again. Pharmaceutical companies are starting to report their earnings for Q2.

Big Pharma giant Johnson & Johnson out of the gate Tuesday. The brand name drug maker announced better-than-expected second quarter earnings and raised its sales forecast for the rest of the year.

  • The company reported $20.56 billion in revenue, beating expectations of $20.29 billion.
  • Pharmaceutical sales, which account for half of the company’s revenue, were also higher than expected. Sales drew in $10.53 billion, beating expectations of $10.31 billion.
  • Johnson & Johnson boosted its full-year sales forecast to between $80.8 billion and $81.6 billion. The company had previously projected $80.4 billion to $81.2 billion.

How did Johnson & Johnson beat prescription drug revenue forecasts? By following the Big Pharma price-gouging playbook.

For example, a major contributor to Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical sales is Stelara, a drug used to treat psoriasis. Last year, Stelara raked in over $4 billion in sales for the company, becoming its best-selling drug.

In January of this year, Johnson & Johnson raised the price of Stelara, along with around two dozen other drugs in their portfolio – an average increase for the company’s top selling drugs of 4.25 percent.

We saw Big Pharma run the table on Q1 earnings, as the industry’s price-gouging of American patients continued to keep business booming. If other Big Pharma giants follow in Johnson & Johnson’s footsteps, the industry looks poised to keep the same trend going in Q2.

Without greater accountability, Big Pharma will continue to put profits over people. That’s why Congress can’t miss the moment to hold the industry accountable and lower prescription drug prices for American patients.

Stay tuned as we continue to monitor Q2 earnings announcements from brand name drug makers over the coming weeks.