Last Updated Jul 16, 2009 12:14 PM EDT
But click on these snapshots from Novartis' earnings release, which show the revenue contribution from its various divisions.
In Q2, there is a dollar decline and only anemic local currency growth in Sandoz. It's the same in the first six months. But in its branded pharma products, the company is growing in both dollars and foreign currency.
It's just a snapshot, but it's something to consider for Pfizer, Abbott Labs and Sanofi-Aventis as they all prepare big pushes into generic marketing in hopes of finding a stable, long-term revenue base to offset the damage from branded patent expirations.
BNET has noted before that growing sales in generics is one thing, but maintaining margins is another. Novartis' results -- which come before Pfizer et al have really hit the ground in this category -- suggest that even growing generic sales is a tough task.