In wake of Biogen’s skirmish with the SEC, pharma giants are changing the way they do quarterly reports

After receiving complaints from the SEC last spring, Biogen changed the way it reports upfront payments to collaborators in its quarterly updates. But it appears Biogen wasn’t the only one who got the message.

Several pharma giants — including Eli Lilly, Merck, Bristol Myers Squibb, AbbVie and Pfizer — are making similar changes in this year’s Q1 results, according to Market Watch, which first reported the news. The changes revolve around certain figures that don’t comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, also known as non-GAAP measures.

Last March, the SEC expressed concern over Biogen’s exclusion of upfront payments and premiums paid for equity stakes from its non-GAAP R&D expense and net income reports. In its response, Biogen said it excluded those figures to “better reflect our core operating performance.”

“We believe that material upfront payments and premiums paid for the acquisition of related common stock associated…
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