Merck raises full-year forecasts after recent $5bn sales surge
Merck’s sales have surged more than $5bn (£3.9bn) in the first few months of this year, carried by the popularity of its cancer drug and Covid-19 pill.
The US pharmaceutical giant enjoyed a 50 per cent jump in sales to $15.9bn (£12.6bn), up from $10.6bn (£8.4bn) in the first quarter of last year.
Merck, the former subsidiary of the German Merck company, has raised its forecast for full-year sales to fall between $56.9bn (£45.3bn) and $58.1bn (£46.2bn).
Sales for Merck’s cancer drug, Keytruda, increased by 23 per cent in the first quarter to $4.8bn (£3.8bn).
The Covid-19 pill, known as molnupiravir, has been approved for distribution in over 30 markets, including the UK, US and Japan – though Pfizer remains a considerable competitor.
The drugmaker had reportedly been struggling to get marketing authorisation from the European Medicines Agency, according to the Financial Times in February.
CEO and president Robert David hailed the “strong top and bottom-line growth”, despite inflation and the supply chain pressures pharmaceutical heavyweights are wrestling with.
“We remain focused on driving our strategy, which is led by science, and are confident in the durability of our growth prospects, as we continue to provide value for patients, shareholders and all our stakeholders today and well into the future,” he said in a statement.
The pharmaceutical firm, which condemned the war in Ukraine but noted its responsibility to keep supplying medicines to Russia, said that it had faced “immaterial” financial impacts due to the war in the first quarter of 2022.