Pfizer, the world's largest drugmaker, said third-quarter profit fell 77 percent on costs for discontinuing the diabetes treatment Exubera and on competition from cheaper copies of its best-selling drugs.
Pfizer abandoned the inhaled insulin drug Exubera because it failed to catch on with doctors and patients, resulting in $2.8 billion write-off, according to a statement today. Net income declined to $761 million, or 11 cents a share, from $3.36 billion, or 47 cents, a year earlier.
Sinking profit and a dearth of new drugs in development have put more pressure on Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Kindler to use the company's $23 billion in cash to make an acquisition that can bring in new products. Revenue losses from patent expirations will continue to widen through 2010, when generic copies of Pfizer's top-selling Lipitor cholesterol pill reach the market.
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