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BMS and Lilly exceed expectations

Published on 31/10/03 at 11:08am

Strong sales of established and new products in the second quarter saw both Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly beat analysts' earning forecasts.

Profits at BMS rose by 80% to $878 million, putting behind it a grim second quarter in 2002, when sales suffered after the company's manipulation of wholesale inventory levels was exposed by US regulators.

Sales jumped 22% to $5.1 billion in the second quarter this year, led by a strong showing from its blockbuster statin Pravachol (Lipostat), and Plavix, an anti-blood clotting drug.

The company's schizophrenia drug Abilify recorded $65 million sales in the quarter, having captured 5% of the US anti-psychotic market since its launch in November 2002.

Abilify is competing in the same market as Lilly's established blockbuster Zyprexa, which had its first $1 billion quarter this year.

The drug led Lilly's sales, with diabetes products Humalog and Humulin, cancer treatment Gemzar and osteoporosis drug Evista, all producing double-digit growth as well.

Three of the company's more recently launched products, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder treatment Strattera, osteoporosis drug Forteo and erectile dysfunction treatment Cialis, generated more than $100 million in sales between them.

For its full-year figures Lilly expects sales to see growth in the low double-digit and aims to launch four more products by the end of 2004.

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