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Feb 2, 2018 @ 22:29

AstraZeneca profits down after losing key patent on anti-cholesterol drug Crestor


British pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca said Friday that net profits slid in 2017, as it continued to be hit by the loss of exclusivity on key blockbuster drugs in the United States.

Profits after taxation sank 14 percent to $3.0 billion (2.4 billion euros) last year, AstraZeneca announced in a statement.

Turnover meanwhile decreased by 2.3 percent to $22.5 billion.

AstraZeneca has been hard hit since 2016 by the loss of its patents in the US on its cholesterol-lowering drug Crestor and schizophrenia treatment Seroquel.

Overall US sales slumped 16 percent to $6.169 billion last year.

However, sales grew six percent to $6.149 billion in emerging markets including China.

Turning to the outlook this year, however, AstraZeneca forecast that its drug sales would increase by a “low single-digit” percentage.

And it revealed that revenues improved by two percent to $5.777 billion in the final quarter of 2017 from a year earlier.

“AstraZeneca’s revenues improved … a sign of how our company is steadily turning a corner,” said chief executive Pascal Soriot.

“Strong commercial execution helped us bring our science to more patients, making the most of our exciting pipeline.

“We made encouraging progress across the main therapy areas and delivered strong growth in China.”

(Agence France-Presse)

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