U.S.: Schering-Plough pharmaceuticals production problems

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Headline: Schering-Plough's Income Fell 10% in First Quarter


URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/18/business/18SCHE.html [See last paragraph for reason I post this here...]

RENTON, April 17 Slumping sales and regulatory troubles cut first-quarter profit by 10 percent at the drug maker Schering-Plough, the company said today.

Net income slipped to $564 million, or 38 cents a share, 2 cents higher than the forecast of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call. But the analysts had reduced their expectations after Schering-Plough warned on Feb. 15 that quality- control problems at four plants could result in profit as much as 15 percent below that in the first quarter of 2000. Then, the company reported net income of $628 million, or 42 cents a share.

Net sales for the quarter declined to $2.3 billion from $2.4 billion, lower in every major division except anti-infection and anticancer drugs. Even there, sales of the major drug Intron A and of Rebetron for hepatitis C slipped 3 percent.

The company's blockbuster allergy drug Claritin, the world's top-selling antihistamine, posted an 8 percent increase in sales, to $718 million from $665 million. Sales of Nasonex nasal spray rose 13 percent, to $92 million. Overall sales of allergy and respiratory products dipped 3 percent.

Because of production and quality-control problems at plants in Kenilworth and Union, N.J., and Manati and Las Piedras, P.R., the Food and Drug Administration is holding up approval of Schering-Plough's new allergy drug Clarinex, the planned successor to Claritin. Claritin is to lose patent protection in December 2002.

-- Andre Weltman (aweltman@state.pa.us), April 18, 2001


production and quality-control problems
now that's a line that goes 'hmm' ::::-

-- spider (spider0@usa.net), April 18, 2001.

Shades of y2k.

-- Billiver (billiver@aol.com), April 18, 2001.

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