Watson's global generics business sees boost

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Watson's global generics business drove the drug maker's net revenue in the fourth quarter, according to a financial earnings release.

Watson said that while its overall net revenue increased 21% to nearly $953 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010, compared with the year-ago period, its global generics business realized a 38% gain to $646 million, thanks to the addition of Watson's international business and new products, including metoprolol succinate extended-release, Zarah and diltiazem extended-release. For the full year, net revenue for the generics segment rose 40% to $2.34 billion, which was attributed to increased sales of extended-release products, the launch of new products and the addition of product sales from international markets.

Watson did report, however, that its global brands segment experienced losses due to the loss of Ferrlecit, a drug designed to treat iron deficiency anemia — although the losses were offset partially by increased sales of Rapaflo, Gelnique, Androderm and the addition of Crinone. Net revenue for the quarter and full year totaled $103.3 million (down about 15%) and $397.8 million (a near 14% decrease), respectively.

For the full year, Watson said its net revenue increased 28% to $3.6 billion, compared to net revenue of $2.8 billion for full year 2009.