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On the face of it, the recent financial performance of the world's leading pharmaceutical producers doesn't look so bad. Combined first-quarter 2002 sales for 15 companies were $65.8 billion, up 7% compared with the same period last year. Earnings for the group also rose 7%, to $14.6 billion.
However, investors and analysts hold drugmakers to much higher expectations of double-digit percentage increases, and the first quarter of 2002 was the first in at least six years that both sales and earnings failed to show the desired gains.----->

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