Merck’s business earnings go up several notches higher, thanks to the colossal sales of Keytruda
Category: #health  By Shikha Sinha  Date: 2017-05-03
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Merck’s business earnings go up several notches higher, thanks to the colossal sales of Keytruda

Merck & Co., Inc., the reputed American pharmaceutical giant, has performed exceptionally well in terms of revenue in the first quarter of 2017. The company has reportedly earned around USD 9.4 billion from drug sales in Q1 2017. Keytruda, its highly effective immunotherapy cancer drug, has recorded global sales of more than USD 584 million, a factor which has contributed majorly to Merck’s massive earnings this quarter.

The drug magnate’s wide range of cancer treatment medication, many which have recorded lucrative sales, have led to the growth of North America cancer treatment drugs market. The company, holding a vital position in global pharmaceutical market, manufactures a range of other effective drugs including Januvia, Remicade, Gardasil, Zetia, and Zepatier, to name a few. Reliable statistics state that Januvia, an effective drug for diabetes, Remicade, for rheumatoid arthritis, and Zetia, an efficient medication for cholesterol, have generated lesser sales than predicted by analysts.

In contrast, the sales of Gardasil, an effective vaccine that apparently prevents infections leading to throat, cervical, or anal cancers, were USD 532 million. This figure is reportedly 50% more than what the analyst predicted. Additionally, Zepatier, the vaccine for hepatitis C, has also performed well above the expectation levels. The sales of this drug have amounted to more than USD 378 million, which is touted to be 40% more than the projected business. The enormous sales of these drugs has catapulted Merck’s position in the pharma industry worldwide, in addition to causing a significant stir in global cancer treatment drugs market.

Despite registering sufficient monetary gains, Keytruda has apparently been a disappointment to the industry analysts, the reason being, the drug’s business sales fell short of the expected level. Bernstein, a leading investment bank, predicted that Keytruda’s sales are likely to hit USD 615 million, while Barclays sealed the bet at USD 589 million. The fact that Keytruda’s rival drug, Opdivo, recorded sales of USD 1.127 billion, which is USD 100 million more than that expected, has also led Keytruda’s profitable sales to be viewed as a minor achievement by the analysts.

The last quarter of 2016 witnessed Merck’s study report stating that Keytruda exhibited positive results in untreated cancer patients, while a similar study report on Bristol’s Opdivo depicted negative results. Experts anticipate that Keytruda will capture a sizeable portion of the market by the next year, with medical experts preferring Keytruda over Opdivo to treat lung cancer.

For the record, it has been predicted that Opdivo’s sales are likely to hit USD 4.5 billion by the end of 2017, and USD 5 billion by 2018. In contrast, Keytruda’s earnings have been forecast to cross USD 3 billion this year and USD 5 billion by the end of 2018. Whether this prediction comes true or not is yet to be seen, as analysts eagerly wait for the FDA’s approval to use Keytruda in combination with chemotherapy for treating lung cancer.



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Shikha Sinha

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Shikha Sinha

Shikha currently manages content operations for a series of news and business portals including MSF, Algosonline, and the like. An electrical & electronics engineer by education, she has prior experience in content & technology writing, content marketing, market resea...

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