GSK chief: Emerging markets sales do the job

GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty (photo) says the company's emerging-markets strategy is working. In an interview with CNBC, Witty said GSK is moving past the worst of its patent losses, and its strong growth in developing countries is helping to make up for the damage from copycat versions of some big drugs.

"We've seen a lot of our historic portfolio exposed to generic competition," he told the network, "and business has gone away over the last several years. We're now seeing really an emergence from that period."

In emerging markets, growth has hit 20 percent in both prescription meds and consumer products, he said. Sales in Europe and the U.S. have stabilized. So, overall, the company has seen "an underlying growth rate" of 4 percent to 5 percent, revenue-wise. "We expect ... we'll see that underlying growth become our reported growth rate as we go through the year and into 2012," he said.

- read the CNBC interview