Pfizer keeps lead over multinational pharmas in 2018 sales

Lee Han-soo  Published 2019.05.10  17:17  Updated 2019.05.10 18:12


Multinational pharmaceutical companies have shown mixed results in their sales and operating profit last year.

According to the audit reports of 24 multinational companies in Korea, Pfizer Korea topped domestic sales last year, followed by Novartis Korea, AstraZeneca Korea, Roche Korea, and Bayer Korea.

Despite the 2.3 percent drop in 2018 sales, Pfizer Korea remained number one among multinational pharmaceutical companies 734.3 billion won ($624.1 million).

The company is highly likely to hold its position as the multinational pharmaceutical company with the largest turnover as it maintains a nearly 300 billion won gap when compared to runner-up Novartis.

However, Pfizer Korea’s operating profit plunged 75 percent to 11.4 billion won in 2018.

Novartis Korea, despite a steady decline in sales due to the suspension of insurance benefits for nine of its products and a fine of 55.1 billion won for dishing out illegal rebates in 2017, posted the second largest sales among the multinational companies with 474.2 billion won, a 9.4 percent increase from 2017.

The company also managed to reverse its operating profit to a surplus of 42.8 billion won from a deficit in 2017 and recorded a net profit of 26.5 billion won. The company’s strong sales are thanks in part to the company benefiting from the government’s ban on carcinogen-containing valsartan drugs last year.

Novartis pushed for aggressive marketing to expand its market share for Exforge, an original hypertension treatment. Outpatient prescriptions of Exforge shot up 37.4 percent to 6.8 billion won in August 2018 from 5 billion won in May.

AstraZeneca Korea, Roche Korea, and Bayer Kore followed the top two with sales of 381.3 billion won, 375.3 billion won in sales and 374.8 billion won, respectively.

Notably, the sales of Novo Nordisk Korea surpassed 100 billion won for the first time as its 2018 sales soared 40.6 percent from 2017 to 132.7 billion won last year, and Abbvie Korea also saw turnover growth from 88 billion won to 110.3 billion won, up 25.3 percent, over the cited period.

In contrast to companies enjoying a massive increase in sales and profit, GSK’s sales declined 2.6 percent to 292.7 billion won, and GSK Consumer Health also saws its turnover fall 3.8 percent to 110 billion won.

Other companies that recorded declining sales included Alcon Korea (100 billion won, down 10.1 percent), Sanofi Pasteur Korea (76 billion won, down 3.4 percent), Sandoz Korea (25 billion won, down 33.3 percent), Sanofi Genzyme Korea (88.9 billion won, down 0.8 percent), Allergan Korea (79.9 billion won, down 0.4 percent), and Menarini Korea (54.3 billion won, down 2.3 percent.)

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