Schering-Ploughreports that second- quarter earnings more than doubled on higher sales for its cholesterol drugs Vytorin and Zetia, despite new generic competition. Net income was $539 million, or 34 cents, up from $259 million, or 16 cents, a year ago, beating Wall Street estimates by 6 cents.
Revenue rose 14 percent to $3.2 billion. Scrips for Vytorin, which combines Zetia and Merck's Zocor, rose 20 percent over the last 12 months. While cheaper, generic copies of Zocor have been sold since June 2006, Bloomberg News notes that Vytorin sales have been boosted by a $128 million ad campaign citing how it fights cholesterol in two ways and by studies comparing it with other branded medicines.