BIG PHARMA EARNINGS WATCH: PFIZER, AMGEN, GLAXOSMITHKLINE, NOVARTIS AND JOHNSON & JOHNSON
Brand Name Drug Companies Kick Off Q4 Earnings Calls After More than 600 Price Hikes to Start 2023
Last week, Pfizer, Amgen, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, and Johnson & Johnson kicked off the first round of Big Pharma earnings reports for the final quarter of 2022. Each of the Big Pharma giants surpassed Wall Street analysts’ earnings expectations and posted massive profits while continuing to hike prices and game the system to keep prices high.
- Pfizer topped Wall Street analysts’ earnings and revenue estimates, raking in more than $100 billion in 2022 sales – an all-time record.
- Strong sales for the year were buoyed by Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and antiviral treatment, Paxlovid, totaling more than $56 billion.
- The Big Pharma giant reported a Q4 net income of $5 billion, a 47 percent increase from Q4 2021.
- Pfizer generated $24.3 billion in revenue for the quarter, with international revenues up 14 percent to $15.81 billion and U.S. revenues up 10 percent to $8.48 billion.
- Excluding COVID-related sales, Pfizer expects 2023 revenue to grow seven to nine percent.
- Amgen reported earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street expectations, posting $6.84 billion in revenue and $1.6 billion in earnings for Q4 2022.
- The pharma giant highlighted year-over-year growth of several brand-name drugs including a 48 percent sales increase for osteoporosis drug Evenity, a 31 percent annual growth for migraine drug Aimovig and a 16 percent jump for cholesterol injection Repatha.
- Amgen Executive Vice President Murdo Gordon boasted record sales for 16 brands and projected stock buybacks to be “under $500 million.”
- GlaxoSmithKline topped Wall Street analysts’ earnings and revenue estimates, reporting $8.66 billion in Q4 revenue.
- Full-year 2022 sales increased by 19 percent to $36.3 billion for the year.
- The pharma giant has surpassed consensus EPS estimates four times and revenue estimates three times over the last four quarters.
- GlaxoSmithKline posted $9.11 billion in Q4 profit, driven by record sales from blockbuster shingles vaccine, Shingrix which brought in $3.7 billion, representing 72 percent year-over-year growth.
- Vaccine revenues increased by 17 percent to $9.7 billion for the year while oncology sales rose 19 percent to $194.5 million.
- GlaxoSmithKline Chief Executive Officer Emma Walmsley called 2022 a “landmark year for GSK.”
- Novartis reported earnings that beat Wall Street expectations, raking in $50.55 billion in 2022 sales driven by strong performances from Entresto, Kesimpta, Pluvicto and Kisqali.
- Entresto’s sales surged 44 percent year-over-year to $1.3 billion, beating consensus estimates.
- Net sales for the pharmaceutical company’s innovative medicines portfolio were $10.4 billion, up 3 percent.
- Novartis’ $15 billion stock buyback is ongoing with $4.9 billion still to be executed.
Johnson & Johnson
- Johnson & Johnson’s fourth-quarter profit came in ahead of Wall Street expectations, driven by its multiple myeloma treatment Darzalex and inflammatory disease treatment Stelara.
- The pharma giant’s COVID-19 vaccine sales were stronger than expected.
- Johnson & Johnson reported $17.9 billion last year on $94.9 billion in revenue, with 15 drugs topping $1 billion in sales.
- Johnson & Johnson reported pharmaceutical sales of $13.2 billion for the fourth quarter of 2022, up 6.8 percent year-over-year.
The blockbuster earnings come as Big Pharma continues to price-gouge patients, including ringing in 2023 with nearly 600 price increases on brand-name drugs. The Big Pharma drug makers who reported fourth-quarter earnings last week all share a history of hiking prices and engaging in egregious anti-competitive practices.
- Pfizer hiked prices on 90 medications in January, including popular rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz by six percent.
- Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla signaled to Wall Street that he expects higher profit margins due to the company’s price hike on its COVID-19 treatment Paxlovid ahead of commercial distribution: “we expect, going forward, to be higher, the margins.”
- In 2022, Pfizer hiked drug prices more than 100 times, increasing the price of best-selling cancer treatment Ibrance by more than five percent.
- Amgen started 2023 by raising prices on more than 30 prescription drugs, including plaque psoriasis drug Otezla by 7.4 percent.
- Amgen hiked prices on 33 prescriptions in 2022, including a 7.4 percent increase on popular rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel.
- A recent U.S. House Committee on Oversight report found that Amgen hiked prices of blockbuster drugs Enbrel and Sensipar to meet revenue targets.
- GlaxoSmithKline has already hiked prices on 43 prescription drugs this year, including blockbuster shingles vaccine, Shingrix by 5.9 percent.
- GlaxoSmithKline raised prices on more than 30 drugs last year, including on popular respiratory treatment and cancer drug Zejula.
- In 2021, GSK increased prices 34 times, including on top-selling respiratory drug Trelegy Ellipta.
- Novartis has already hiked prices on 74 prescription drugs this year, including breast cancer drug Kisqali by 8 percent.
- Last summer, Novartis raised the price of Adakveo, a popular treatment for sickle cell disease for adults.
- Novartis began 2022 by hiking prices on more than 20 prescription drugs, including a seven percent increase on Kisqali.
- Novartis increased prices 20 times in January of 2021 and more than 30 times in 2020, including a seven percent hike on blockbuster psoriasis drug Cosentyx each year.
Johnson & Johnson
- Johnson & Johnson began 2022 by hiking prices on nearly 30 prescription drugs – at an average rate of five percent.
- In January of 2021, the company hiked prices on more than 25 prescription drugs.
- Spending on the company’s blockbuster cancer drug Imbruvica is expected to exceed $41 billion between 2027-2036 thanks to an anti-competitive patent scheme that extended a monopoly on the high-priced cancer drug by more than nine years. Imbruvica costs an eye-popping $180,000 per year.
Stay tuned as we continue to monitor earnings calls from Big Pharma for Q4 of 2022 over the next few weeks.
Learn more about solutions to lower prescription drug prices and hold Big Pharma accountable HERE.