The Straits Times
Published on Oct 25, 2012

Pharma giants report hit on profits with expiry of key patent drugs


LONDON (AFP) - Two big European pharmaceutical giants reported a big hit on profits in the third quarter largely due to the expiry of key patent drugs.

Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca on Thursday said its net profits sank 56 percent in the third quarter, as group revenues tumbled.

French pharmaceutical group Sanofi said its third quarter net profit dropped by 7.4 percent to 2.2 billion euros because the expiration of patents ate into sales.

AstraZeneca's earnings after tax slumped to US$1.53 billion in the three months to the end of September, compared with US$3.48 billion in the same period of 2011.