Brace yourselves for layoffs at GlaxoSmithKline. The saga is familiar: An aging blockbuster loses steam to competing meds, and its maker gets out the cost-cutting ax to compensate. This time, the faltering drug is Advair, which adds some new twists to the story--including a warning to the whole pharma industry about formulary placement.
Glaxo, say hello to another Advair rival in Germany and Sweden. Monday, Indian generics maker Cipla rolled out its copy of GSK's respiratory behemoth in the two European countries, and the company's CEO says more are on the way.
GlaxoSmithKline giant Advair may be reeling, but it hasn't kicked the bucket yet. And now, it's getting a payer boost that will breathe a little life into falling sales. With dismal second-quarter results depressing investors, the news couldn't have come at a better time.
GlaxoSmithKline's latest penalty for improper marketing practices may seem little more than a slap on the hand--except that it's coming at the worst possible time for the embattled British drugmaker. GSK agreed to pay $105 million to settle charges in California, New York, Texas and more than 40 other states that it illegally promoted its asthma drug Advair and antidepressants Wellbutrin and Paxil.
Novartis' generic of Advair in Europe is already a thorn in GlaxoSmithKline's side when it comes to sales of the declining blockbuster. Now, it says, another of its lung drugs has turned out positive study data that show its non-inferiority to Glaxo's top seller in COPD, and with its more convenient dosing regimen, it could prompt patients on Advair to make the switch.
It is the big sellers, the blockbusters--no, megablockbusters--that drug execs aspire to develop. And a look at the top 10 best-selling drugs globally can't help but impress with its big numbers.
GlaxoSmithKline's asthma behemoth Advair may be losing ground in Europe, but a legal win may stop some of the bleeding--at least in Germany. The British pharma giant has obtained a preliminary injunction there to stop Novartis' Sandoz from hawking its generic, AirFluSal Forspiro, thanks to the inhaler's purple color.
With aging top dog Advair losing ground to generic and branded competitors alike, GlaxoSmithKline is grooming a lineup of respiratory up-and-comers to step in with their own blockbuster sales. And new study results comparing Advair with not-yet-launched Anoro Ellipta could help the fledgling COPD treatment do just that.
While it's still unclear how long copycats will take to make a serious dent in GlaxoSmithKline's respiratory franchise once generic competition inevitably erodes sales of the $8.8 billion-selling Advair, Glaxo may soon have a new building block with European regulators' new recommendation for combo med Anoro.
Advair's throne is slowly eroding. With stepped-up competition from rival lung drugs--including AstraZeneca's Symbicort--GlaxoSmithKline's top-selling product, with $7.7 billion in 2012 sales, is losing share in the U.S.