Hospira profits tumble over lost cancer drug sales

By Bruce Japsen
Posted Oct. 26, 2010 at 7:11 a.m.

Hospira Inc.’s third-quarter profit tumbled 40 percent largely due to the loss of U.S. sales of a generic cancer drug the company cannot sell due to a patent settlement that is keeping the cheaper version off the market.

The Lake Forest-based maker of generic injectable drugs and medication delivery devices said net income fell to $71.4 million, or 42 cents a share in the third quarter ended Sept. 30. That compares to $116.2 million, or 71 cents in the third quarter of 2009.

A settlement of patent litigation with Sanofi-Aventis, the maker of the brand drug known as Eloxatin, is keeping Hospira’s generic version known as Oxaliplatin off the U.S. market until 2012. Hospira stopped selling oxaliplatin, which is used to treat late-stage colon cancer, at the end of June.

While Hospira is not disclosing sales figures it had for the widely used generic cancer drug, analysts say they were significant to total company sales. Total company sales in the third quarter were down nearly 6 percent to $949.3 million.


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One comment:

  1. Scott Oct. 26, 2010 at 8:48 a.m.

    As a former employee, I’m betting the Eloxatin generic is the excuse, not the reason. The company’s intensive drive to cut costs (outsourcing everything to the cheapest bidder) and general disregard for employees is surely driving the company down. You reap what you sow.