December 1, 2004

Pfizer Sales to Be Hurt in Next 2 Years

NEW YORK -- Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. reiterated Tuesday it would meet its 2004 earnings target but said over the next two years it would lose $14 billion in revenues because of patent expirations.

The world's largest drug company said it would earn between $2.12 to $2.14 a share before charges, and $1.58 to $1.60 a share after charges. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call predict earnings of $2.13 per share excluding items.

Pfizer lost market exclusivity on two key drugs this year, and will lose patent protection on an additional five drugs in the next two years.

At its annual analysts meeting, Pfizer also said it will file three new drug applications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by the end of the year, including one for an injectable cox-2 inhibitor, a class of pain relievers.

Merck & Co. withdrew its cox-2 inhibitor, Vioxx, from the market earlier this year because it doubled patients risk of heart attacks and strokes when compared with placebo. Pfizer already markets two cox-2 inhibitors: Bextra and Celebrex. Studies have shown that Bextra can reduce the risk of heart attacks in coronary bypass patients.

Pfizer is also filing an application to have its erectile dysfunction drug Viagra used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension, a vascular disease which reduces lung function. It is also filing an application for another form of its antibiotic Zithromax.

Pfizer shares closed up 44 cents, or 1.6 percent, at $27.77 on the New York Stock Exchange - near the low end of its 52-week trading range of $26.55 to $38.89.


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