Ranbaxy Laboratories' first-quarter earnings soared on its launch of the cholesterol drug copycat.
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Followers of Pfizer won't be surprised to learn of Read's M&A appetite, yet the pharma chief happens to be scouting for deals at an interesting time in the industry and at his company.
The Chicago-based company petitioned the FDA to stop biosimilar versions of Humira, its lead drug, on trade-secret grounds.
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Lipitor sales tanked 42%, and though sales of other products grew, overall pharma sales dropped 25%.
Getting FDA approval of a new plant in India meant Ranbaxy was able to push out enough generic Lipitor in March to take the top spot in production of the drug.
Pfizer lost the lead in the Lipitor market, getting outsold by about 300,000 pills.
After a four-year stint of being unable to ship drugs from its plants in India to the U.S. and Canada, Ranbaxy Laboratories is returning in a big way.
Ramping up Indian production of generic Lipitor is key to Ranbaxy's ability to profit from the drug.