NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -07/30/12)- Despite facing patent expirations for top-selling drugs, major pharmaceuticals have performed admirably in 2012. The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Pharmaceuticals Index Fund (IHE) is up 14 percent year-to-date -- outperforming the Dow Jones Industrial Average by almost 10 percent. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the regional Drug Manufacturers Industry and provides equity research on Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).
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According to a recent report from Fitch Ratings, there will be fewer prescription drugs approved in 2012 than the 30 approved last year. During the first half of the year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 14 innovative drugs, compared to 18 a year ago. "Branded pharmaceutical developers' research success of 2011 will be difficult to repeat," the report stated.
Expiring patents have seen 3 of the top 10 selling drugs receive generic competition since last October. Recently Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Eli Lilly and Co. quarterly results showed net-income fell by over 20 percent as a result of generic competition to their blockbuster drugs.
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Pfizer is scheduled to release second quarter 2012 financials on Tuesday, July 31, 2012. On November 30, the company's cholesterol drug Lipitor received generic competition. Despite the patent expiration, sales of Lipitor totaled $1.4 billion during the first quarter of 2012. Sales of the drug peaked in 2006 when total sales reached $13 billion.
Johnson & Johnson recently reported sales of $16.5 billion for the second quarter of 2012, a decrease of 0.7% as compared to the second quarter of 2011. The company currently offers investors an annual dividend of $2.44 per share for a yield of around 3.55 percent. Shares of Johnson & Johnson are up over 6 percent in the last three months.
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