At a time when pharmaceutical companies are coming under fire over high drug costs and transparency, Celgene Corp. boasts a sales bonanza. The Summit-N.J.-based biopharmaceutical firm reported a 22% increase in net sales for its 2015 second quarter over Q2 2014.
That was buoyed by a 19% increase in sales of Revlimid, which is used to treat multiple myeloma, among other conditions. U.S. sales of Revlimid reached $873 million in Q2, a 22% increase over last year's second quarter.
Celgene's sales of Abraxane, which is used to treat advanced breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and advanced pancreatic cancer, increased 13%. The company said that percentage reflects volume growth in both the U.S. and Europe.
But while Celgene reported profits of $356.2 million, that total was down more than 40% from last year. Per-share basis earnings fell to 43 cents from 90 cents, while profit per share increased to $1.23 from 90 cents.
Earlier this month, Celgene announced plans to acquire San Diego-based Receptos for $7.3 billion. In June it announced it had entered a 10-year collaborative agreement with Seattle-based Juno Therapeutics for $1 billion, seeking to dip its toe into the promising oncology immunotherapies market.
"The Celgene team delivered exceptional results across the portfolio in the second quarter," said Robert Hugin, the company's chairman and CEO, in a statement. "We continue to invest strategically in the long-term future of Celgene."
Still, pharmaceutical companies are under increasing pressure because of soaring drug costs.
Pharmaceutical cost-transparency bills have been introduced in California, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oregon and Pennsylvania. Some of the bills would require disclosures for drugs costing $10,000 or more a year, while others would require disclosure of the costs of manufacturing, marketing and advertising a drug, a history of its price increases, disclosure of the drug's profits, and how much its manufacturer spends to provide financial assistance to patients who use that drug.
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review announced Tuesday that it was given a grant to begin releasing reports that will compare drugs' clinical effectiveness and their pricing, as well as their potential impact on the U.S. healthcare system and economy. The institute will then set a value-based pricing benchmark.