Astellas Pharma has posted a 8.2% fall in earnings for the first half of the year and cuts its earnings forecast for the full year due to generic competition to its immunosuppressant Prograf.

Net income came in at 83.49 billion yen (about $924.4 million), hit by the appreciation of the yen against the dollar and the euro, plus higher R&D costs. Sales edged up 0.3% to 494.64 billion yen, driven by Prograf (tacrolimus).

However sales of the drug were down 1.3% to 103.00 billion yen, as Novartis unit Sandoz copycat version became the first generic to hit the US market in August. The take-up of the Sandoz drug has been quicker than expected and Astellas has reduced its full-year Prograf sales target by 8.4% to 184.30 billion yen.

As for the Japanese drugmaker’s other products, turnover from Harnal (tamsulosin) for benign prostatic hyperplasia, sold as Omnic in Europe and Flomax in the USA, increased 3.3% to 62.50 billion yen. Vesicare (solifenacin) for overactive bladder was up 10.5% to 40.00 billion yen, while sales of the cholesterol blockbuster Lipitor (atorvastatin), which Astellas markets in Japan in collaboration with the product's originator Pfizer, were up 5.0% to 49.3 billion yen.

The company raised its total full-year sales estimates 1.1% to 976.00 billion yen, but has reduced its net income forecast by 26.9% to 125.00 billion yen.