BIG PHARMA EARNINGS WATCH: PFIZER & AMGEN
Big Pharma Giants See Profits Jump After New Year Price Hikes
New earnings reports for the fourth quarter of 2020 show that Big Pharma giants are continuing to rake in big profits while hiking prescription drug prices during the pandemic. On Tuesday, Pfizer and Amgen announced earnings for the fourth quarter of 2020 that bested Wall Street expectations after both companies engaged in a flurry of prices hikes just last month.
- Pfizer reported revenue of $11.68 billion, beating Wall Street expectations and marking a 12 percent increase year over year.
- Sales were driven by top-selling blood-thinner drug Eliquis, breast cancer drug Ibrance and rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz.
- Sales of breakout drug Vyndaql were up 96 percent – raking in $429 million in sales in Q4.
- Amgen also topped Wall Street expectations – reporting earnings per share of $3.81 for the fourth quarter, compared to analysts’ estimates of $3.39 per share.
- Over the last four quarters, Amgen has surpassed consensus EPS estimates four times.
- The company reported revenues of $6.6 billion in Q4 – an increase of 7 percent year over year.
- Rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel accounted for an eye-popping $1.3 billion in sales, and osteoporosis drug Prolia generated $749 million.
The strong earnings reports come as both companies have continued to hike prices on their prescription drugs.
- Pfizer has already hiked prices over 130 times this year alone, including on its cancer treatment Ibrance and popular rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz – by an average of five percent.
- Breakout drug Vyndaqel is estimated to “become among the most costly cardiovascular treatments ever,” according to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER).
- Price hikes on Pfizer’s drug Lyrica were not supported by new clinical evidence and accounted for an unnecessary increase in U.S. drug spending of nearly $700 million from 2017-2018 according to ICER.
- Already this year, Amgen has hiked prices 11 times – including on popular drugs Enbrel and Otezla – by an average of more than seven percent.
- A recent House Committee on Oversight report found that Amgen hiked prices of blockbuster drugs Enbrel and Sensipar in order to meet revenue targets.
- Price hikes on the company’s cancer drug Neulasta were not supported by new clinical evidence and accounted for an unnecessary increase in U.S. drug spending of nearly $500 million from 2017-2018 according to ICER.
Read more on Q4 earnings from Johnson & Johnson and Novartis HERE.
Read more on Q4 earnings from Eli Lilly HERE.
Stay tuned this week as we continue to monitor Q4 earnings announcements from Big Pharma.