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King's profits hit by generic competition

King Pharmaceuticals' second-quarter profit fell 53 per cent to $18m, as generic sales reduced Skelaxin's (metaxalone) revenue by 95 per cent

King Pharmaceuticals' second-quarter profit fell 53 per cent to $18m, or 7 cents per share, from $37.9m or 15 cents per share a year ago as generic sales reduced revenue of its muscle relaxant Skelaxin (metaxalone) by 95 per cent.

Revenue from Skelaxin in the three-month period was just $5m due to the introduction of two unbranded competitors early in the second quarter. A year before it had generated $102m.

Skelaxin came off patent in January 2009 and two companies began selling low-cost generic versions early in the second quarter.

Total branded drug sales in the period ending June 30 reached $162m compared with $275m in the year before. Overall revenue for the second quarter decreased 17 per cent to $371m but exceeded analysts' forecasts of $361m. 

Its pain drug Embeda (morphine sulfate and naltrexone hydrochloride) is showing continued growth since it launched in September 2010 and reaped $15m during the second quarter. But falls in sales were seen with the bleeding-control drug Thrombin-JMI (Thrombin Topical Bovine Origin), Ling's painkiller Avinza (morphine sulfate) and its Flector (diclofenac) painkiller patch.

CEO Brian Markison noted, however, that regulatory filings for both Remoxy (oxycodone) and Acurox (oxycodone HCI/niacin) "remain on track for FDA submission with Remoxy scheduled for the end of this year and Acurox scheduled for the first quarter of 2011."

10th August 2010

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