A strong sales year for its prescription products and participation in emerging markets enabled Novartis Corp. to maintain its position as the largest pharmaceutical company in 2014. Meanwhile, Actavis saw a 50.5% revenue increase, and Biogen's revenue grew by 40%.
Sales of Novartis products introduced in 2009 or later or that have exclusivity until at least 2018 in key markets rose 18% to $18.6 billion in 2014, or 32% of the company's net sales. Gilenya, a treatment for multiple sclerosis, brought in $2.5 billion in 2014, the company said in its annual 10-K report. Afinitor, a treatment for breast and kidney cancer, garnered $1.6 billion in sales, up 22% over the prior year. Tasigna, a treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia, saw $1.5 billion in sales, up 24%. Overall, Novartis' net sales reached $58 billion in 2014, a slight increase over 2013.
The company said efforts to expand its presence in new markets such as Asia, Africa and Latin America led to higher net sales. Sales were up 18% in Brazil and 15% in China, and rose 11% overall in emerging markets.
Novartis gained 13 major approvals in key markets in 2014, most notably Zykadia, a U.S. drug that treats lung cancer, Novartis spokeswoman Elizabeth Power said.