Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, has declared financial results for 2011 indicating that its new products largely compensated for its loss of exclusivity on Lipitor and other ‘blockbuster’ drugs.
The company declared a full-year revenue increase of 1% for 2011, reflecting an operational decline of only 2% ($1.6bn) despite losing $5bn of its former market share through patent expiry.
The results were described by Pfizer Chairman Ian Read (pictured) as showing the company’s “new direction and focus” with a strong pipeline and a more “results-driven” R&D programme.
Pfizer’s full-year revenues for 2011 were $67.4bn compared to 2010’s $67.1bn, reflecting an operational decline of $1.6bn. Its US revenues were $26.9bn, down 7% from 2010. Its international revenues were $40.5 billion, 6% above the 2010 figure, reflecting 1% operational growth and a 5% positive impact of foreign exchange. Pfizer’s international revenues represented 60% of the total in 2011, compared with 57% in 2010.
The company’s Primary Care unit saw growth in sales of Celebrex, Lyrica, Pristiq and Spiriva balancing losses from patent expiries: Lipitor and Caduet in the US in November 2011, Lipitor in other developed markets over 2010, and Aricept in the US in November 2010. These losses of exclusivity cost the unit $775m (13%) relative to the last quarter of 2010.
The Specialty Care unit saw growth in Enbrel in developed markets and Prevenar in Japan. In the US, revenues from Prevnar 13 were lower than in 2010 due to a successful vaccination programme that year. The patent expiries of Vfend and Xalatan in the US cost the unit $205m, 5% of fourth-quarter 2010 revenues.
The Emerging Markets unit saw volume growth more than offset by the negative impact of foreign exchange and increased price pressures, as well as the patent expiry of Lipitor in Brazil and Mexico in 2010. Patent expiries cost the unit $29m, 1% of the fourth-quarter 2010 figure.
The Established Products unit suffered from the patent expiries of Effexor XR, Protonix and Zosyn in the US, which cost the unit $208m (9% relative to fourth-quarter 2010). It also suffered from multi-source generic competition to Aricept in the US. These losses were partially offset by $150m from the addition of legacy King products, as well as by foreign exchange and by the licensing of Watson Pharmaceuticals to sell the authorised generic version of Lipitor in the US.
Pfizer reduced its total costs, excluding the impact of foreign exchange, by 5% relative to fourth-quarter 2010. This was achieved through cost-reduction and productivity initiatives, particularly in R&D, as well as reductions in the US field force and in marketing spend.
Ian Read, Pfizer’s Chairman and CEO, said: “Overall, 2011 was a year of setting new direction and focus for Pfizer. I am pleased with our 2011 financial performance, which was achieved in the face of a challenging global market and product losses of exclusivity of approximately $5 billion.
“In 2011, we advanced our pipeline and improved the rigour and productivity of our R&D efforts, while also changing the culture within the R&D organisation to be more accountable and results-driven. With the steady cadence of new product launches, marketing submissions and approvals, and positive late-stage clinical data presentations, we are clearly seeing the benefits of our investments and new approach.
“Prevnar/Prevenar 13 for adults, tofacitinib, Xalkori, Inlyta (axitinib) and Eliquis are well positioned to be important new product opportunities that may enhance the performance of our business. Additionally, we have a next wave of compounds that have shown promise in early and mid-stage studies, and we look forward to progressing them through the pipeline.”
Looking to 2012, he concluded: “We will continue to fix the innovative core in order to enhance our post-proof-of-concept portfolio of compounds in high-priority disease areas and successfully launch additional novel products. I look forward to continuing the significant progress we’ve made.”