Bristol-Myers suffers side-effects from rival drugs

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Bristol-Myers Squibb on Friday reported a lower third-quarter profit as U.S. revenue fell amid intense competition for its products from rivals and generic drugs.

The New York-based drugmaker posted a net profit of $758 million, or 38 cents per share, compared with a profit of $906 million, or 47 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

Excluding items, Bristol-Myers earned 44 cents per share. On that basis, analysts on average expected 39 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Company sales rose 1 percent to $5.4 billion, but would have been unchanged if not for positive foreign exchange factors.

U.S. pharmaceutical sales fell slightly, hurt by increased competition for cholesterol fighter Pravachol and cheaper rivals to cancer treatment Paraplatin and Glucophage for diabetes.

Global sales of Pravachol plunged 24 percent to $598 million, following the summer launch of Merck Co.’s more potent Vytorin and clinical trials showing far better effectivness of Pfizer Inc’s Lipitor.

Paraplatin sales fell 28 percent to $177 million, undermined by cheaper generics that became available earlier this year. The company said the drug’s sales will likely fall farther in the fourth quarter.

But sales of recently launched schizophrenia treatment Abilify jumped 63 percent to $165 million, helped by its better safety profile than rival treatments.

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