Prevnar Makes Drug Company Wyeth $755 Million In The First Quarter Of 2009

Sales of anti-depressant Effexor tumbled 20 percent to $819 million as the drug began facing generic competition in Europe. It was also hurt by lingering concerns that such medicines increase the risk of suicidal thoughts.

The magnitude of the Effexor sales decline was far greater than the 3 percent drop seen in the prior quarter.

But global revenue from Prevnar, a vaccine to protect children from being infected with pneumococcal bacteria, which has been one of Wyeth’s fastest-growing products, rose 7 percent to $755 million.

“At the end of the day, Wyeth is executing well,” said Edward Jones analyst Linda Bannister. “Like others in the industry, they beat on the bottom line but missed a little on the top line.”

Bannister said Prevnar showed decent growth despite the strong dollar and economic downturn, and could grow
significantly in coming years if an improved form of the vaccine is approved for children and becomes available for adults.

The company posted quarterly earnings of $1.2 billion, or 89 cents per share, unchanged from year-earlier results.

Source: Reuters, 29th April 2009, by Ransdell Pierson.

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