Sidelined after tampering incident, GSK's alli is back on sale

After nearly a year off the shelves, GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) diet pill alli--recalled after reports of tampering--is back in most U.S. stores, and it's got some updates that should make any future tampering easier to spot.

The British pharma has redesigned the OTC capsule's packaging to highlight any postshipment changes to the product--like the ones U.S. consumers reported last March, when they opened their bottles to find different drugs inside, the Associated Press reports.

And while the FDA is still looking into the tampering incident, the drug itself is back, and it's ready to resume chipping in sales for the company. Before shipping alli to retail stores, Glaxo rolled it out through Drugstore.com and other online retailers, the AP notes. It's been available for preorders on Amazon.com since late January, and it ranked No. 1 in the diet item category during its first preorder week, GSK told the news service.

That's good news for the company, which is readying itself for some major changes. Following the close of its multibillion-dollar asset swap with Novartis ($NVS), its consumer health business will combine with the Swiss pharma's OTC ops to form a market-leading, Glaxo-controlled joint venture.

And with revenues falling on its branded meds--thanks to the decline of aged blockbuster Advair--Glaxo will be looking to the new JV to pick up some of the slack. Earlier this month, GSK reported a 25% drop in U.S. Advair sales on the year, which dragged down pharmaceuticals and vaccines turnover by 4%.

- read the AP story

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