The Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche has seen its turnover and profit decrease in the first half of the year, due to patients who visited a hospital or GP less often during the corona pandemic.

In particular, sales of multiple sclerosis drug Ocrevus, hemophilia treatment Hemlibra, eye drug Lucentis, and the drug Rituxan, used to treat leukemia, declined.

“The corona pandemic continues to be a huge challenge worldwide,” said CEO Severin Schwan in a statement.

Net profit decreased by 5 percent to 8.5 billion Swiss francs (approximately 7.9 billion euros). Sales decreased by 4 percent to 29.3 billion Swiss francs. The strong Swiss franc did influence the results. Profit at constant exchange rates, for example, increased by 3 percent and turnover by 1 percent, Roche said.

The pharmaceutical expects earnings per share to grow in line with sales, and also to increase its dividend. Competitor Novartis reported similar declines in sales and profits this week related to the absence of patients.

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