Merck & Co Announce Increased Profit for Q1Merck & Co’s have released their Q1 results for 2014, showing an increase in profit, despite being hindered by unfavourable exchange rates and patents expiring.

The healthcare company announced net income of $1.70 billion, an increase from the $1.59 billion net income of Merck & Co’s first quarter of 2013.  However, turnover for the business dropped by 4% to $10.26 billion.

Sales of Merck & Co’s asthma blockbuster, Singulair (montelukast), fell 20% to $271 million, while Nasonex (mometasone), an anti-allergy medicine, also decreased 19% to $312 million.

HIV drug, Isentress (raltegravir), reached $390 million, an increase of 8%, while turnover from Merck & Co’s cervical cancer vaccine, Gardasil, dropped 2% to $383 million.  Janumet (sitagliptin plus metformin) brought in revenue of $476 million, a rise of 16%.  Diabetes drug, Januvia (sitagliptin), also fell slightly generating $858 million, a drop of 3%.

Cholesterol drugs, Vytorin (ezetimibe plus simvastatin) and Zetia (ezetimibe), contributed sales of $361 million and $611 million, dropping 8% and 3% respectively.  Johnson & Johnson’s anti-inflammatory drug, Remicade (infliximab), which Merck sells outside the USA, received sales of $604 million, growing 10%.

Merck & Co’s chief executive, Kenneth Frazier, noted that “investing in the best opportunities for growth while being disciplined in managing our costs enabled us to deliver bottom-line performance.”

Frazier added “this is an exciting time as we prepare to commercialise the next wave of innovation coming out of Merck’s research labs over the next few years.”

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