Generics assault on key drug hits profits for King

King Pharmaceuticals’ quarterly profit was cut in half as sales of its muscle-relaxant drug Skelaxin plunged 95 per cent due to generic competition, but overall results slightly topped expectations yesterday.

The company reported net income of $18m (£11.3m), or seven cents per share. That compared to $37.9m, or 15 cents per share in the year-earlier period.

Excluding special items, the drugmaker earned 17 cents per share. Analysts on average expected 16 cents per share.

King’s revenue fell almost 17 per cent to $371m, hurt by recent introduction of two generic versions of Skelaxin, King’s longtime biggest product. But company revenue came in about $10m above Wall Street expectations. The quarterly results graphically illustrated just how devastating generic competitors can be to branded drugs.