Patent Victory Gives AstraZeneca Time to Develop New Drugs: Bad News?

The court victory this month affirming AstraZeneca’s (AZN) patent on its best-selling drug, Crestor, gives the slow-footed Pharma company more time to develop new drugs to replenish its revenues.

AZN Revenue TTM Chart

AZN Revenue TTM data by YCharts

Crestor had sales through the first nine months of the year of $4.6 billion – out of a corporate total of $20.7 billion.

Trouble is, AstraZeneca has proven so inept at developing new drugs on a cost-effective basis – see this fascinating analysis of drug R&D costs by Forbes’ Matthew Herper – that one has to wonder if the company will succeed.

While AstraZeneca was dead last on the list compiled by Herper, the most efficient drug makers were Amgen (AMGN), Novartis (NVS) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), and the stock chart seems to agree on that.

AZN Chart

AZN data by YCharts

AstraZeneca recently suffered a setback on an arthritis drug in development. The company is rummaging around in its lab looking for old drugs that might have new uses. And there is great hope that a new CEO, from outside the company, can turn AstraZeneca around.

From the editors of YCharts. We can be reached at



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