GSK says Avandia drug sales slump ahead of ban

21st October 2010, Comments 0 comments

British pharmaceuticals firm GlaxoSmithKline reported on Thursday a drop in quarterly net profits as sales of its former blockbuster diabetes drug Avandia slumped ahead of a Europe-wide ban.

Profit after tax fell 3.5 percent to 1.288 billion pounds (1.45 billion euros, 2.0 billion dollars) in the 12 weeks to September 30 compared with the equivalent period in 2010, GSK said in a statement.

GSK had posted a loss of 304 million pounds during the second quarter owing to restructuring costs, competition from generic drugs and legal charges.

The company suffered a fresh blow in late September when the EU said it would shortly ban Avandia over fears it increases the risk of heart attack and strokes. Regulators have also restricted its availability in the United States.

GlaxoSmithKline on Thursday said Avandia sales slumped 65 percent to 70 million pounds in the third quarter.

"GSK expects global sales of Avandia containing products to be in the range of approximately 100 million pounds to 150 million pounds in the second half of 2010 and to be minimal thereafter," it added in its statement.

© 2010 AFP

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