U.S. Markets open in 4 hrs 47 mins

AstaZeneca profit falls as drug patents expire

LONDON (AP) -- Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca PLC warned over expiring patents on its medicines as the company announced a 37 percent fall in full-year net profit.

AstraZeneca said that its net profit fell to $6.3 billion in the year ended Dec. 31, compared with nearly $10 billion in 2011. The company blamed the loss of exclusivity on several big-name drugs for a drop in revenue to $28 billion from $33.6 billion a year earlier.

In one example, U.S. revenue fell 21 percent, largely due to competition from generic versions of AstraZeneca's anti-depression medication Seroquel IR.

Chief executive Pascal Soriot said Thursday the company's 2012 performance "reflects a period of significant patent expiry and tough market conditions."

He said the company's new leadership team would focus on the company's brands and product pipeline.