AstraZeneca

9. AstraZeneca
2013 revenue: $25.711 billion
2012 revenue: $27.970 billion

The good news for AstraZeneca: Key growth platforms Brilinta, diabetes, respiratory, emerging markets and Japan generated an incremental $1.2 billion in 2013 revenue. The bad news? Off-patent meds took a beating, with expiries cutting sales by $2.2 billion to more than offset the gains in those fields.

In fact, AZ ($AZN) blamed generics for a 6% year-over-year revenue drop. Cheap generic competition to other off-patent blockbusters also gave the British company's products a run for their money, like the Lipitor copies that helped erode 9% of worldwide Crestor sales. Competition won't necessarily get easier, and European knockoffs are popping up of AstraZeneca's own products, too, including copycat versions of Symbicort and stomach drug Nexium.

But back to that good news. Brilinta delivered $283 million on the year, with $92 million of that coming in the fourth quarter; more than half those sales came in Europe, where fourth-quarter sales more than doubled between 2012 and 2013. In the U.S., on the other hand, AstraZeneca hit a snag last year when the Justice Department said it was investigating some disputed data from a trial key to its regulatory approval.

Respiratory med Symbicort, too, put forth a strong performance, grabbing market share from Glaxo ($GSK) titan Advair in the U.S. Thanks to an aggressive pricing and rebating strategy from the British drugmaker, the treatment now controls 30% of U.S. market share, and it recorded an 11% fourth-quarter sales swell.

This year won't necessarily be pretty, with sales likely falling by a percentage in the low-to-mid single digits thanks to Nexium generics. As a result of past and future patent-cliff struggles, the company is in the middle of a cost-cutting program that includes more than 5,000 layoffs. But AZ's Phase III pipeline offers some hope for the future: It now includes 11 compounds, nearly twice as many as it did the previous year.

-- Carly Helfand (email | Twitter)

For more:
Special Reports: The top 10 largest pharma layoffs of 2013 - AstraZeneca | Top 10 Drugmakers in Emerging Markets - AstraZeneca
With Teva's Symbicort copy nearing EU launch, AstraZeneca preps for battle
AstraZeneca steps up its global restructuring with 550 new job cuts
Generics pull AZ sales back again, but CEO promises a quicker bounce-back
Analysts skeptical as AstraZeneca sales, earnings sink

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