Eli Lilly has posted a strong set of figures for the second quarter, with the antidepressant/fibromyalgia blockbuster Cymbalta and the lung cancer drug Alimta once again driving sales.

Net income reached $1.35 billion, up 16% and ahead of analyst forecasts, while sales reached $5.75 billion, a rise of 9%. Lilly noted that revenue was reduced by $70 million due to the impact of US health care reform

The most striking performances came from Cymbalta (duloxetine), up 17% to $867.7 million and the lung cancer drug Alimta (pemetrexed) which leapt 43% to $551.8 million. Lilly’s best-selling drug continues to be the antipsychotic Zyprexa (olanzapine), which had turnover of $1.26 billion, an increase of 5% and up 10% to $638.2 million in the USA. The latter rise was driven by higher prices.

Of Lilly’s other products, the insulin products Humalog and Humulin rose 9% and 7% respectively, to $504.6 million and $265.2 million. The chemotherapy Gemzar (gemcitabine) was down 17% to $293.4 million, due to generic competition but sales of the erectile dysfunction drug Cialis (tadalafil) were up 15% at $418.7 million. The osteoporosis drug Evista (raloxifene), which is also approved for the prevention of breast cancer for certain postmenopausal women, had revenues of $259.5 million, up 3%, while sales of Lilly’s other osteoporosis drug Forteo (teriparatide) increased 3% to $209.6 million.

The type 2 diabetes treatment Byetta (exenatide), which is sold in partnership with Amylin, had worldwide sales of $178.8 million, down 13% as a result of “competitive pressures in the US and German markets, and $106.9 million (-7%) of that was booked by Lilly. Erbitux (cetuximab), the cancer agent that the company got hold of through its acquisition of ImClone, brought in $103.8 million, up 4%.

Sales of the bloodthinner Effient (prasugrel) which is partnered with Daiichi Sankyo, have been disappointing since its launch last spring but revenues came in at $22.9 million, up from $8.8 million in the second quarter.

John Lechleiter, Lilly's chief executive, said the firm continues to deliver solid results “driven by volume-based revenue gains and ongoing cost-containment efforts”. He added that Lilly’s financial performance “enables us to fund our R&D pipeline of nearly 70 clinical stage assets and make strategic acquisitions”.