Bristol-Myers Squibb Sees Sales Gain After Ad Spend Hike

Sales of Bristol-Meyers Squibb's Plavix and Abilify were up in the third quarter, the company reported Thursday, thanks largely to a 23% increase in ad spend.

The budget line rose to $351 million, up from $286 million in the same quarter a year ago, driven primarily by increased spending for direct-to-consumer advertising for Plavix and Abilify, as well as investments to support the launch of Ixempra.

Total net sales increased 22%, to $5.1 billion.

U.S. net sales increased 35%, to $3 billion, primarily due to increased Plavix sales, the company says, as well as the continued growth of key and newer products.

Sales of Plavix, a platelet aggregation inhibitor that is part of the company's alliance with Sanofi-aventis, increased 99%, to $1.25 billion, up from $630 million a year ago.

In the U.S. alone, Plavix sales were up 128%, to $1.1 billion, from $474 million a year ago. The comparison to Q3 06 sales reflects the adverse impact of generic competition for Plavix in 06, which the company estimates to be in the range of $525 million to $600 million.



"We're making significant progress in identifying ways to operate more efficiently and reduce costs companywide as we maintain investments in our productive pipeline, which continues to yield important new therapies, including the recent addition of Ixempra for breast cancer," said CEO James M. Cornelius in a statement.

The company's U.S. pharmaceutical sales increased 42%, to $2.3 billion, primarily due to increased Plavix sales, as well as the continued growth of key products and sales of newer products.

Total revenue for Abilify, an anti-psychotic agent for the treatment of schizophrenia, acute bipolar mania and bipolar disorder, increased 34%, to $420 million.

U.S. sales increased 27%, to $329 million, primarily due to higher demand and higher average net selling prices. Estimated total U.S. prescription demand increased approximately 10% compared to the same period last year.

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