January 27, 2011

Watch the Vaccine Bubble Burst: Novartis Q4 Profit Down as Vaccine Demand Drops

Last week I posted yet another appeal to the Pharma/Public Health public-private partnership to stop attacking our community, pointing out to them that their tactics were not working and were only loosing the vaccine/autism wars.

Today the Associated Press put out yet another confirmation that PharmaKorpGov's tactics are not working:

Novartis Q4 profit down as vaccine demand drops
Jan 27, 2011 5:32 AM ET
By The Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss drug maker Novartis AG saw fourth quarter net profit slip 2 percent on the year to $2.32 billion amid one-off charges and a sharp drop in demand for its pandemic flu vaccine, the company said Thursday.

Profit in the October-December period was hurt by one-time charges of $789 million, including restructuring costs in the U.S. and Germany — only partially offset by a one-time gain of $392 million, the pharmaceutical company said.

Revenue in the fourth quarter grew from $12.92 billion to $14.19 billion. However, the vaccine division suffered a 74 percent decline in sales to $361 million following the end of the pandemic flu in 2010, after sales for the flu vaccine totaled $1 billion a year earlier.

The maker of hypertension drug Diovan and anticancer treatment Glivec — known as Gleevec in the United States — said its 2010 full year sales were up by 14 percent to $50.62 billion, including $2.4 billion revenue from the full consolidation of eye care specialist Alcon, Inc.

Full year 2010 net profit was up to $8.45 billion from $9.96 billion a year earlier, the company, based in Basel, said.

"Novartis achieved excellent results in 2010 as all divisions contributed to above-market growth," Chief Executive Joseph Jimenez said.

The company's results were helped by 13 key product approvals and the breakthrough of the multiple sclerosis medication, Gilenya, which has also been launched in the U.S., he said.

Analysts at Zuercher Kantonalbank said while Novartis' revenue is fully in line with market expectations, its net profit remained slightly below expectations.

In its outlook, Novartis said it expects sales to grow at constant currency rates by a "double-digit mark," and productivity gains to help improve margins while absorbing price cuts, generic competition and the loss of the pandemic flu vaccine sales.

The company's shares were trading lower on Switzerland's stock exchange Thursday morning, falling by 1.74 percent to 53.50 Swiss Francs ($56.71).

Will the vaccine profiteers pay attention. If history is any gauge, and it always is, then no.

Their business runs on a cost/benefit analysis. Since there is such little cost compared to their other product lines (because the 1986 vaccine law protects them from lawsuits for the injured and dead via vaccination, and because the government - the US tax payer - sells their product for them via public health drives and mandates), it is likely they are willing to let things take a long nose dive, while they stay in denial that this is just temporary and one more run at Andrew Wakefield should solve the whole mess.

But have no doubt... this is the thing that hits PharmaKorp where it hurts. You can carry pictures of our sick and dead children and march around their building every day, that is not going to change things. Because of history is any gauge, and it always is, then only loosing enough cash will change things.

So the next question is, where is their bottom? My guess is an analyst sitting in some building, somewhere, watching for the magic number to flip, and then suddenly we will see Offit tucked away in some lab somewhere, a sudden change in management, and this new management will show that they are truly upset by what our community has had to shoulder, both insults and injuries, and really wants our help in making the vaccine program safe.


We will win the Bruesewitz case in SCOTUS and the timeline jumps into overdrive.

So what is that magic number?

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