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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From the pharma C-suite: Notable, quotable remarks on Asia, emerging markets for Q1 (Part 6)

FiercePharmaAsia  combs earnings calls by major drug companies for notable and quotable nuggets on emerging markets and Asia to track the latest sales trends and insight into business outlooks in markets as diverse as China, India and Japan to Southeast Asia.

Push to use big data in Japan gets help from industry, academia

The pharmaceutical industry's producers and academic researchers in Japan are actively engaged, despite setbacks experienced by others such as Google, in building a big-data pipeline, this one now including 10 drugmakers and 30 medical institutions.

China gears up to change the rules of the game on drug sales

If China has its way, within another year or two, a repeat of the GlaxoSmithKline and similar scandals will be far less likely, but drugmakers can expect to face a harder sell as a result. The government just completed a comprehensive healthcare reform plan centered on the nation's public-hospital system, but with a reach throughout the medical process.

'Volume' is the magic word for Glaxo as it works to turn sales around

Payers have put the squeeze on GlaxoSmithKline's top seller Advair, helping sink its sales and send company revenues tumbling. So GSK doesn't want to play with fire by hawking more high-priced meds. Instead, the company's identified a different path to growth, it said Wednesday--and the name of the game is volume.

GSK's vaccine operating profit, margin dive on Novartis fold-in

GlaxoSmithKline will have some questions to answer this week after reporting its first quarterly results with Novartis' former vaccines stable. The company's vaccines unit saw its operating profit plummet and operating margin decline after folding in the Swiss drugmaker's business.

GSK's U.S. Advair sales plummet 22% in Q1--and that's without generics

GlaxoSmithKline's respiratory woes continued in Q1, with stateside sales of aging blockbuster Advair sinking 22%. The company has pricing pressure to thank for that slide.

Embattled GSK scraps ViiV spinoff as pharma revenues tumble

About that ViiV Healthcare spinoff GlaxoSmithKline's been looking at--it's not happening, the pharma giant says.

Hampton steps into GSK chairman role as discontent with Witty builds

GlaxoSmithKline is facing sluggish sales in the U.S. and revenue growth that falls behind that of its Big Pharma rivals, not to mention scrutiny for CEO Andrew Witty. So Philip Hampton will have his work cut out for him as he steps into his new role as the company's chairman and attempts to revive the company's lagging fortunes.

GlaxoSmithKline files for gene therapy OK as a case of the jitters sets in

Close to 5 years after GlaxoSmithKline signed on to collaborate with the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy in Italy, the partners have stepped up with a European application to start marketing a gene therapy for extraordinarily rare cases of immune deficiency triggered by ADA-SCID. And its delivery into regulatory hands comes as the gene therapy field has been recoiling from some notable setbacks that have begun to cloud what has been a bullish sector in biotech.

GSK weighing scrapping investor payout to boost dividend instead

Analysts are suggesting that GlaxoSmithKline is thinking hard about scrapping a plan to reward investors by paying them about £4 billion and instead use money from its deals with Novartis to prop up its dividend, Reuters reports.