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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FT sources: RBS' Hampton top contender to succeed Glaxo chair

A bribery scandal in China, with other probes ongoing in the Middle East and Europe. Mounting competition to declining top drug Advair. And so-far-lackluster launches of the products tabbed as future respiratory stars. So, who wants to be GlaxoSmithKline's next chairman?

UPDATED: GSK's private eye sentenced to 2.5 years in Chinese prison

China finally has a verdict on the husband-wife investigator team linked to GlaxoSmithKline's bribery scandal: U.K. citizen Peter Humphrey is headed for 2.5 years behind bars, and his American wife, Yu Yingzeng, will get 2 years, Pharmafile reports.

GlaxoSmithKline backs off from Galapagos' anti-inflammatory hopeful

GlaxoSmithKline has again scaled back its expectations for an anti-inflammatory treatment licensed from Galapagos, calling off any plans for late-stage study after a few Phase II miscues dulled the drug's potential.

Pfizer needs to ink a big deal, pronto. GSK or Actavis, maybe?

A couple of things happened this past week to set off new chatter about a Pfizer megadeal. First, GlaxoSmithKline posted disappointing earnings and cut its full-year forecast, sending its stock into the dumpster--and its market cap tumbling. Then, Berenberg analysts issued an investor note extolling the potential virtues of a Pfizer-GlaxoSmithKline combo. Let the speculation continue.

GSK relaunches COPD patient site with blockbuster sales on the line

GlaxoSmithKline's new respiratory blockbuster hopefuls, Anoro and Breo, aren't quite where analysts thought they'd be by now. And with the pair slated to take the torch from aging giant Advair, Glaxo is taking their marketing seriously.

AbbVie decides against Supreme Court appeal for ruling that extended rights to gays

Without explaining why, AbbVie has decided not to appeal a court ruling that extended rights to gay jurors which materialized out of litigation it has been waging with GlaxoSmithKline over the pricing of an HIV med. But it is seldom a good idea for a pharma company to antagonize its patient base. And gay men make up a significant number of the patients on HIV drugs sold by the drugmaker.

Note to Big Pharma: Discounts work. GSK price cuts score Advair a payer boost

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.

Novo Nordisk more valuable than GlaxoSmithKline? That's what investors say

Who'd have thought Novo Nordisk could zoom past GlaxoSmithKline in the pharma market value rankings? Predictable or not, that's just what's happened. As Bloomberg reports, Novo shares are up 27% this year, pushing its market cap to $120 billion, several billions past Glaxo's.

GSK private eyes' son allowed first visit to parents in China jail as trial nears

On Friday, 19-year-old Harvey Humphrey visited his parents, the husband-and-wife team of private detectives who did investigative work for GlaxoSmithKline's disgraced China office, for the first time since they were detained by Chinese police last summer. The family saga painfully illustrates the potential pitfalls of doing business in China.

Private equity weighs $10B-plus combo of aging Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline brands

GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi could both unload their on-the-block products in one fell swoop. As the  Financial Times  reports, a handful of private equity firms are considering a buyout of both Big Pharma portfolios, planning to merge the two into one bigger set.