Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) , the world's largest pharmaceutical company, has performed well in recent years despite worries about the patent cliff. Of course, losing market share for the world's best-selling drug of all time to generic competition can lead to such concerns. Management was well prepared and had two potential blockbuster drugs -- both projected to reach peak sales of more than $2 billion -- ready to launch in 2013. JAK inhibitor Xeljanz was approved for treating rheumatoid arthritis last November, and blood thinner Eliquis, developed with Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY ) , was approved one month later for reducing risk of blood clots in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. Investors could sit back and ride out a successful year, right?
Unfortunately, neither drug has started commercial life in the first six months of 2013 with a bang. Xeljanz recorded revenue of just $33 million while Eliquis notched only $34 million for Bristol (Pfizer has not disclosed Eliquis sales this year) during the period. Why are these once-heralded drugs faltering? Why aren't their advantages playing out as envisioned? Fool contributor Maxx Chatsko breaks it down for investors in the following video.
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