The eye medicine Eylea posted strong gains, and business with the cancer drugs Stivarga and Xofigo developed well. The pulmonary hypertension treatment Adempas, launched in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2013, also contributed to the growth in sales.
Among the established best-selling products, the cancer drug Nexavar recorded sales gains in all regions, with currency-adjusted (Fx adj.) growth of 13.6 percent. Sales of Aspirin Cardio for preventing heart attacks rose by 19.2 percent (Fx adj.), largely thanks to increased demand in China. The decline in sales of the blood-clotting medicine Kogenate (Fx adj. minus 5.7 percent) was partly explained by the high sales level of the prior-year quarter.
Increased Competition in the United States Causes Problems
Sales of the multiple sclerosis drug Betaferon/Betaseron receded by 21.5 percent (Fx adj.), mainly due to increased competition in the United States. Business with the YAZ/Yasmin/Yasminelle line of oral contraceptives was hampered chiefly by generic competition, with sales of these products down by 2.6 percent (Fx adj.).
Sales of the Consumer Health segment in the first quarter of 2014, at EUR 1,790 million, were flat with the prior-year period on a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis. In Consumer Care, the skincare product Bepanthen/Bepanthol and the dietary supplement Supradyn in particular registered growth (Fx adj. 21.9 percent and 15.0 percent, respectively). In the Medical Care Division, the U.S. Diabetes Care business continued to be held back by price declines.
Sales of the Contour line of blood glucose meters receded by 11.5 percent (Fx adj.). Sales of contrast agents and medical equipment in the Radiology & Interventional business were slightly down on a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis. On the other hand, business with animal health products developed favorably, with growth particularly for the Advantage family of flea, tick and worm control products (Fx adj. plus 10.8 percent).
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