PHARMACY

Amgen’s sales, profits rise in Q2

BY Alaric DeArment

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. Biotech company Amgen had $3.8 billion in sales and $1.33 billion in profits during second quarter 2010, according to an earnings report.

Those numbers compared with $3.71 billion in sales and $1.31 billion in profits in second quarter 2009.

Total product sales decreased by 1% during the quarter to $3.61 billion, compared with $3.63 billion in second quarter 2009. U.S. sales were $2.79 billion, a 2% decrease from $2.83 billion in second quarter 2009. In terms of individual products, global sales of the anemia drug Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) decreased from $693 million to $603 million, including a 21% decrease in U.S. sales of the drug. Sales of the anemia treatment Epogen (epoetin alfa) increased from $638 million to $657 million, while combined sales of the anti-infective drugs Neupogen (filgrastim) and Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) increased from $1.16 billion to $1.17 billion. Sales of the autoimmune disease treatment Enbrel (etanercept) decreased from $899 million to $877 million. Meanwhile, sales of the cancer drug Vectibix (panitumumab), recently launched in the United States, increased from $56 million to $72 million.

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PHARMACY

Drugstore.com extends partnership with Medco Health Solutions

BY Michael Johnsen

BELLEVUE, Wash. Drugstore.com on Tuesday announced the extension through 2018 of its strategic alliance with Medco Health Solutions.

In 2008, Medco launched its Medco Health Store — an online retail destination offering a wide range of non-prescription consumer health products, including over-the-counter medicines. Drugstore.com supplied technical and operational support for this launch, including fulfillment, distribution and customer care for the Medco-branded online store. Today, the Medco Health Store has grown to include more than 1.4 million registered members.

“Our partnership strategy is a key driver of Drugstore.com’s growth and leverages our leadership in online merchandising and fulfillment in the health and beauty category,” stated Dawn Lepore, CEO and chairman of Drugstore.com. “Medco is a leader in the healthcare and pharmacy industries and we are excited to be extending this relationship.”

“Medco’s partnership with Drugstore.com has enhanced the comprehensive healthcare and pharmacy services we deliver to our clients and their members,” added Tom Moriarty, general counsel, secretary, and SVP, pharmaceutical strategies and solutions, Medco Health Solutions.

In addition to extending the term of the relationship, the economic arrangement between Drugstore.com and Medco has changed, giving Medco more flexibility in pricing and promotions.

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Pfizer’s Q2 sales get boost from specialty drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Pfizer had a big increase in sales and a modest increase in profits during second quarter 2010, according to a financial statement released Tuesday.

The world’s largest drug maker had $17.3 billion in sales and $2.5 billion in profits, compared with $11 billion in sales and $2.3 billion in profits in second quarter 2009, representing respective increases of 58% and 9%.

The increase in sales included a 165% increase in sales of specialty drugs, from $1.4 billion in second quarter 2009 to $3.8 billion this quarter, stemming from Pfizer’s purchase of Wyeth. Cancer drug sales decreased by 2%, from $355 million to $349 million, while primary care drugs increased from $5.2 billion to $5.9 billion, and established products increased from $1.7 billion to $2.7 billion. Biotech drug sales increased from $10 billion to $15 billion.

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