Although drug sales for two major drug companies rose, charges took their toll on Pfizer, the world’s largest drug maker, and Wyeth, the 10th largest.
Data shows Pfizer’s revenue rose 52 percent, but their net income declined to $602 million, or 8 cents a share, from $2.86 billion, or 46 cents a share, this time last year. The decline was due to the $1.76 billion in charges to cover lingering legal problems associated with the withdrawn diabetes drug Rezulin and an epilepsy remedy Neurontin. Both drugs were once marketed by Warner-Lambert Co., which Pfizer obtained in 2000.
The drug Neurontin was allegedly being marketed for uses that were unapproved by the Food and Drug Administration, while Rezulin was found to be associated with cases of fatal liver damage.
Wyeth’s revenue rose 14 percent, but their net profit fell to $335.3 million, or 25 cents a share, from $1.57 billion, or $1.18 a share, this time last year. Data also shows that their earnings declined after the company took charges to reorganize its manufacturing operations and pay off debts. Sales of its female hormone replacement therapies Premarin and Prempro took a dive after studies linked the two drugs to increased risk of cancer and stroke in patients taking them. Wyeth has also taken more than $16 billion in charges over the past few years for liabilities related to its withdrawn “fen-phen” diet drugs. In addition, Wyeth said that it expected 2004 earnings to fall below Wall Street expectations.
Forbes.com January 22, 2004
Dr. Mercola’s Comment:
This is good news overall. The market is finally starting to get fed up with expensive Band-Aids that cause more problems than they solve. This is a major David versus Goliath battle, as I am seeking to transform this fatally flawed paradigm that is controlled by the multinational and billion dollar drug companies. But as this story illustrates they are losing ground, slowly but surely. This is why I am donating all my commissions from my new book to a new non-profit corporation that is dedicated to making this happen. I hope to announce further details of this project later in 2004.
I have another bit of exciting news to tell you! You will be pleased to know that the Web site last week passed Mayo Clinic and just the other day passed the AMA, making us now the fifth most visited health site in the world. It seems that the word is catching on that mercola.com has important information to share. So please continue the good work, as we have only begun the fight to take over the health care system of this country from the drug companies and return it to the people.