Sanofi recall of allergy injectors may cost $109 mln according to initial estimate

PARIS – French drug maker Sanofi said Thursday that a recall of hundreds of thousands of epinephrine injectors used to treat severe allergic reactions may end up wiping 100 million euros ($109 million) off its bottom line.

Sanofi says the financial impact of recalling its Auvi-Q and Allerject injectors in the U.S. and Canada is an initial estimate, and the final amount will be accounted for in the fourth quarter. The recall, announced Wednesday, is being made because the injectors may not deliver the correct dose.

Sanofi also reported that its third-quarter net profit and sales rose despite a drop in its key diabetes treatment, Lantus.

Lantus is Sanofi’s top product, though sales have been declining. It’s the world’s third bestselling medicine, with 2014 sales of $12.4 billion, according to British research firm GlobalData.

Sanofi said it expects global diabetes sales over 2015-2018 to fall between 4 per cent and 8 per cent annually. Lantus also faces competition from a less expensive rival that could go on sale in the U.S. late next year, after Sanofi settled a lawsuit that allows rivals Eli Lilly and Co. and German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH to sell their version starting Dec. 15, 2016.

Sanofi says it will “mitigate the impact of this revised sales expectation” on its operating profit, with details of its mid-term strategic and financial outlook to be unveiled on Nov. 6.

Sanofi’s third quarter sales rose 9.2 per cent to 9.59 billion euros, while its net profit increased nearly 37 per cent to 1.63 billion euros.