AstraZeneca profits drop 25 per cent as patents expire

Suzie Neuwirth

PHARMACEUTICALS giant AstraZeneca today announced a 25 per cent profit decline in the first quarter after losing exclusivity on a range of core products.

Patents expired for its antipsychotic medicine Seroquel IR and heart drug Atacandin many markets, and for cholesterol-lowering Crestorin Canada, which were the key drivers for the decline.

“As anticipated, the first quarter performance reflects the loss of exclusivity for several large products,” said chief executive Pascal Soriot.

“We remain focused on our strategic priorities of returning to growth and achieving scientific leadership. Brilinta, the diabetes franchise, Emerging Markets, Japan and our Respiratory products have all made good progress and we continued to invest in distinctive science that will advance our knowledge of disease physiology and help to identify new drug targets."