Eli Lilly found itself standing at the bottom of a steep slope this year, beleaguered by slumping sales and patent losses for two of its bestselling drugs. The Indianapolis, IN-based company is continuing on its downward spiral, reporting a 16% dip in revenue due to exclusivity losses on anti-depressant Cymbalta and osteoporosis drug Evista.
Sovaldi is pricey, but if you want to talk about really pricey, then look at the 10 most expensive drugs. The least of those, Celgene's Revlimid, ran $128,666 last year, the numbers ninjas at EvaluatePharma determined. The most expensive, Soliris, costs nearly $537,000.
Of course, debate about the appropriate price for drugs is ongoing. It costs a lot of money to discover and develop drugs, including the money that gets sunk into candidates that don't succeed. And because of the way the U.S. market works, it will have the highest prices that the market will bear.
It is probably no surprise that the 10 largest Big Pharma companies came into 2014 with far fewer employees than they had the previous year. After all, revenues have been off at those companies as some of their biggest products have fallen off the patent cliff.
It is always interesting to see who is growing and who is shrinking and why, but it can be a tricky measure. What follows are the ins and outs of the top 10 and their employment numbers.
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Celgene's growth engine Revlimid came through again this quarter. The blood cancer drug's $1.3 billion in Q3 sales--a 19% increase--helped the company hit sales estimates and beat profit expectations. And if a new first-line indication wins FDA approval, expected soon, the drug could take another leap next year. Read more >>
Alexion has had a win-some, lose-some year, what with a pricing challenge in the U.K. and a series of recalls for its only marketed drug. But that drug, Soliris, just keeps on surging. Sales grew 39% for the third quarter, hitting $555 million, and profits amounted to $177 million of that.
The Angiomax patent saga has a new chapter. Medicines Co. has now sued its law firms, Ropes & Gray and Fish & Neave, saying lawyers busted deadline for a key patent filing, risking premature generic competition for its best-selling anticoagulant.
Bayer's Xarelto, which has been cruising along since it joined a new class of warfarin replacement therapies on the market, has faced a rare stumbling block in acute coronary syndrome--an indication the FDA has denied it on three separate occasions. But across the pond, it's picked up a nod in some ACS patients from the U.K.'s cost-effectiveness gatekeeper.
Johnson & Johnson taking its network of biopharma incubators to Texas in an expansion of its Janssen Labs initiative.
Drugmakers are accustomed to grappling with government payers and PBMs over prices. They're used to getting the stiff arm from cost-effectiveness watchdogs like those at the U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). They're even used to the critics at patient-access organizations. But a pricing fight directly with patients? That's not your everyday occurrence.
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