Q3 Calls Prove Big Pharma Still Cash King

Earnings calls from the nation’s top drug companies prove they’re still getting special treatment from Trump and Azar

WASHINGTON – A host of earnings calls over the past two weeks by the drug industry’s heavy-hitters proved that in the third quarter of 2019, pharmaceutical companies are still raking in huge profits — on sick Americans’ dime. Restore Public Trust released the following statement in response:

“One thing is clear from the drug companies’ earnings reports: as sick Americans are struggling to afford the medications they need, Big Pharma is still making big profits,” said Lizzy Price, director of Restore Public Trust. “Drug companies’ profits remain astronomical while many people are rationing their medications, or not getting them at all, because they’re too expensive. President Trump and Secretary Azar must stand up to Big Pharma — public health is more important than the drug industry’s bottom line.”

Drug companies reported stunning third quarter growth across the board. Here’s what some of the industry giants reported:

  • AbbVie made $8.4 billion in total Q3 2019 revenue, and announced a 10.3% increase in quarterly cash dividend. HUMIRA, one of the company’s best-performing drugs, grew 9.5% in the US in the third quarter.
  • Amgen’s worldwide revenues were $5.7 billion. The company also spent $1.2 billion to buy back 6.2 million shares in Q3 2019.
  • GlaxoSmithKline saw group sales growth of 11%.
  • Merck’s total company revenues were $12.4 billion — an increase of 15% year-over-year.
  • Pfizer handed out $14.9 billion to shareholders through Q3 2019 through a combination of dividends and share buybacks.


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