Monday, September 7, 2009

Profits from the Swine Flu

New York Times from 7/23/09 article detailing the sales of Tamiflu

Roche, based in Switzerland, said Thursday that sales of Tamiflu in the first half of 2009 tripled to 1 billion Swiss francs ($931 million), spurred by retail sales and the stockpiling of the drug by governments and corporations.
For the second quarter alone, Tamiflu sales reached 609 million francs ($567 million), more than 12 times the level of the second quarter of 2008. The second quarter, from April to June, is not usually a heavy season for flu.


Still, Mr. Schwan said that Roche, in cooperation with outside contractors, would increase its manufacturing capacity to 400 million packs a year by the beginning of 2010, about four times the current capacity.
He said that should be an ample volume, given that the company sold a total of only 300 million packs during the last five years — a period that encompassed a bird flu scare as well as the current swine flu outbreak.


But back in 2008, things weren't looking so hot for Roche

The Losers
Meanwhile, sales of influenza treatment Tamiflu (oseltamivir) plummeted by a whopping 64% y/y. The plunge is explained both by a high baseline for the first quarter of 2007 and slowing demand as government stockpiles near completion (see Switzerland: 12 October 2007: Roche Braced for Tamiflu Sales Slowdown as Government Stockpiles Reach Saturation)


Roche can make money off Tamiflu AND rapid flu tests


But it does cost money for Roche


here's a press release from Roche disguised as a news story on the front page of yahoo news

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