Avandia wipes off substantial Glaxo profits

GSK Will Focus More on Consumer Brands Like Panadol

GSK Will Focus More on Consumer Brands Like Panadol

GlaxoSmithKline’s full year pre-tax profit has fallen by 60 percent to £3.2 billion, due to write off charges of its diabetes drug Avandia.

The Pharma giant had made provisions of £2.2 billion ($3.5) towards legal charges for settling litigations and put aside another £476 million in the last three months of 2010, related to Avandia. The group has made provisions worth £4 billion to settle litigations and legal disputes.

Europe had banned Avandia because of a suspected link to heart disease.

However, in an effort to boost investor confidence, Glaxo said it will start buying shares this year.

The company also announced its plans to focus on its bigger consumer brands such as Sensodyne, Panadol and Lucozade and sell of some of its smaller brands.

Chief Executve of Glaxo Andrew Witty said the group’s underlying performance was encouraging.

Sales were down by 11 percent at £7.2 billion.

Glaxo had suspended its share repurchase program in 2008, but will restart the process at investor’s insistence.

Peer drug makers like AstraZeneca and Pfizer are buying back shares worth billions of dollars to boost investor confidence.

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