Listed as number three in pharma sales, GlaxoSmithKline has had some rough luck thanks in part to the diabetes drug Avandia, which has been pulled out of Europe and restricted in the U.S after global side effect concerns since 2007. The company cut its losses on the drug, writing off $233 million in supplies and eliminating its marketing efforts of the drug.

The company has racked up some charges against its earnings, including over $6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010 from Avandia and marketing settlements. GSK settled 10,000 Avandia lawsuits for a combined $460 million. Also, the company hit number three on FiercePharma's Top Layoffs of 2010 list with 5,201 jobs lost. While other companies look towards more spinoffs, GSK has focused on emerging markets as its ticket to higher revenue. It purchased Laboratorios Phoenix in 2009 and China's MeiRui in 2010; the UK-based company said the impact of its layoffs would be masked by more job opportunities in Asia and South America.

In early 2011, GSK and Human Genome Sciences gained FDA approval for Benlysta, the first new lupus treatment in more than 50 years, and experts believe it could be a $3 billion to $5 billion worldwide sales heyday for the partnership. But the FDA denied an extended approval and a potential $1 billion in sales to GSK from the prostate drug Avodart. While the drug was effective against low-risk malignant tumors, it potentially heightened the risk of developing more aggressive tumors.

GSK spun off its HIV treatments into ViiV Healthcare in 2009, combining it with Pfizer's former R&D efforts in the field. ViiV markets Ziagen, Trizivir, Epzicom and abacavir as part of its suite of drugs for HIV/AIDS.



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GlaxoSmithKline CEO's reform-minded rep under fire in China probe

As the company's current scandal in China shows, Witty was caught somewhat flat-footed by problems there, and some investors wonder whether Witty's reforms have been rigorous enough.

GSK adding 2-D barcode to 4-in-1 flu vaccine packaging

GSK will begin adding 2-D barcodes to its Fluarix Quadrivalent 4-in-1 influenza vaccine, which the FDA cleared for shipping on Monday. Over the next 6 months GSK will add the barcode technology to the packaging of more vaccines.

GlaxoSmithKline hits speed bump en route to diabetes drug approval

The FDA asked for a few more months to review GSK's app on albiglutide, which would compete with Novo Nordisk's Victoza and Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca's Byetta and Bydureon, among others.

GlaxoSmithKline's new diabetes drug faces delay at the FDA

Glaxo says that the FDA asked for more time to review the information the big pharma company had submitted in response to the agency's queries and pushed back the deadline to April 15, 2014.

Baxter caught up in China bribery scandal

Big Pharma companies are fighting to stay out of the spotlight as authorities show up to visit them.

India pulls another patent, this time for GSK's Tykerb

India's Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has pulled the patent that GlaxoSmithKline had for its breast cancer drug Tykerb, a salt form of lapatinib, while upholding the patent on the original API.

GSK publishes patient-level data from vaccine trials

Last year GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) made an unprecedented commitment to share patient-level clinical trial data with independent researchers. Ten months later, the first portion of the data is live, and vaccines are well represented.

GSK, Pfizer commit more vaccines to Unicef program

The early success of a Unicef program to bring pneumococcal vaccines to poor countries has created a problem for the agency--demand is outstripping supply. To fix the problem, Unicef has negotiated new deals with GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer, securing more vaccines at lower costs.

Moody's cuts GlaxoSmithKline outlook, citing billions in outlays

As if GlaxoSmithKline didn't have enough trouble on its hands, Moody's Investors Service has cast some dark clouds over its credit outlook. The agency cut the outlook on Glaxo's long-term A1 rating to "negative" from "stable," citing worries about debt, share buybacks, and massive legal settlements.

National action plans needed to stop hepatitis B, WHO says

In Asia Pacific viral hepatitis kills one person every 30 seconds. This creates a huge opportunity for vaccines from GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and others to improve public health, yet a lack of national action plans is restricting the impact of these preventative measures.