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Generics hurt Pfizer’s first quarter sales

The maker of Viagra said net income was $2.33 billion, down from $2.75 billion last year.HO/AFP/Getty Images/File

Despite sharply lower expenses
and taxes, Pfizer Inc.’s first-quarter profit dropped 15 percent, due to generic rivals and an end to some promotion efforts with other drug makers. Shares fell as the company missed revenue expectations by $730 million, but narrowly beat profit estimates. Revenue at the New York giant has fallen since 2011 as cheap generics hurt sales of some off-patent drugs that once brought in billions annually, particularly the cholesterol fighter Lipitor, the top-selling drug ever, with peak revenue of nearly $13 billion.