Company news: GlaxoSmithKline

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The decision by FDA and its European counterpart to sharply restrict Avandia is a sharp blow to GSK, which will see sales of the onetime blockbuster dwindle to almost nothing, but the company has already largely dismantled its sales force for the diabetes drug. “We have one small selling team focused on Avandia in the US, but as part of some recent sales force restructuring and in light of what's already happened in the marketplace, we had begun shifting resources to other medicines in the portfolio,” a spokesperson told MM&M. Global sales of the drug were down 18% for the first half of 2010, to around $504 million ($257 million in the US). The company anticipates second half sales of between $157 million and $235 million, “and with minimal annual sales thereafter.” GSK halted all consumer advertising for the drug several years back and ended professional-directed advertising in June.

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