US drug maker Pfizer posted first-quarter profits down 19%, mainly because new generic competition to its blockbuster cholesterol pill Lipitor cut US sales by 15%.
The competition prompted the company to offer big rebates and discounts to keep patients on its brand.
The maker of Viagra said net income was $1.79bn, or 24 cents per share, down from $2.22bn, or 28 cents a share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, the world’s biggest drug maker would have made $4.43bn, or 58 cents per share.
Analysts were expecting 56 cents a share.
Revenue totalled $15.4bn, down 7% from $16.5bn a year ago. Analysts were expecting $15.46bn.
Pfizer lowered its adjusted profit forecast for 2012 by 6 cents, to $2.14 to $2.24 per share.