Drug firm AstraZeneca says 3Q earnings fall 12 percent.

Health CareAssociated Press

Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca says third-quarter earnings fell 12 percent as its blockbuster cholesterol drug Crestor faced its first full quarter of competition in the United States from generic alternatives.

Operating profit declined to $1.03 billion from $1.17 billion in the same period a year earlier. Net income, which includes finance expenses and a one-time tax benefit of $319 million, rose 32 percent to $1.01 billion.

Continue Reading Below

AstraZeneca has been cutting costs so it can devote more resources to cancer drugs. Sales of cancer treatments rose 19 percent to $867 million, driven by the introduction of the lung cancer drug Tagrisso and the ovarian cancer drug Lynparza.

U.S. sales of Crestor fell 82 percent to $124 million after generic competitors went on sale in July.