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Pfizer's Q3 lifted by Prevenar, Enbrel and Lyrica

Sales growth of 7 per cent helped US-based pharma company’s adjusted income increase 11 per cent to $4.82bn in the third quarter

Pfizer's third quarter profits role 11 per cent as a strong sales performance from key products compensated for a slight decline in revenues from its blockbuster Lipitor.

Sales of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines Prevnar and Prevenar 13 increased 35 per cent to climb above $1bn, while Enbrel (etanercept) for psoriasis and pain drug Lyrica (pregabalin) both achieved revenues of just under $1bn.

Their sales helped compensate for a slight decline in revenue from cholesterol-lowering medication Lipitor (atorvastatin), Pfizer's biggest-selling product.

The drug, which accounted for 9 per cent of the company's revenues in 2010, will lose patent protection at the end of November and already faces generic competition in Spain and Canada. This contributed to a 2 per cent decline in sales for the product, although it remained the company's biggest seller, making $2.6bn worldwide.

Sales will be hit further as the market is opened to generic competition in more regions, including the US and the EU, although only two generic products will be available for the first six months after patent loss.

The US-based pharma company recorded adjusted profit of $4.82bn for the period, up from $4.35bn in 2010, on the back of revenues that rose 7 per cent to $17.19bn

Ian Read, president and CEO of Pfizer, said he was happy with the company's performance and its ability to maximise the value of Lipitor before its loss of patent exclusivity.

He said: “We remain well prepared for the Lipitor US loss of exclusivity later this month and in various other countries shortly thereafter.”

Net profit for the company increased significantly, jumping from $866m in 2010 – when Pfizer faced charges of $1.5bn on to its Wyeth acquisition and a $701m asbestos litigation charge - to $3.74bn in 2011.

This year the company also made $1.3bn from its sale of its hard capsule business Capsugel to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

2nd November 2011

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