Novartis profits rise on emerging markets, MS drug
- For the second quarter of 2014, Novartis reported turnover of $8.20 billion and net profits of $2.59 billion.
- Profits were boosted by multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya (fingolomid), whose sales soared by 29%, and kidney cancer treatment Afinitor (everolimus), which saw a 25% rise in sales.
- Sales decreased the most for blood pressure drug Diovan (valsartan), which was down 20% to $743 million due to pressure from generic alternatives. Sales of Tekurna/Rasilex (aliskiren) fell 37%.
The financial impact of Diovan going off patent is not surprising. Fortunately for Novartis, the negative effect of generic pressure and the decrease in cardiovascular drug sales was offset by the success of Gilenya, which become the first multiple sclerosis pill to treat 100,000 patients and grossed $606 million for the second quarter.
Other notable upswings included increased growth of 8% in emerging markets -- with 17% and 13% growth in Russia and China, respectively. Sales of biosimilars were also up 23%. Novartis Chief Executive, Joe Jimenez, expressed optimism, saying that Novartis had “made significant progress on innovation across the portfolio.”