GSK: Patent end hits US drug sales

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GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK’s) second-quarter earnings missed analyst estimates as the UK’s biggest pharmaceutical company said yesterday that sales of its respiratory drugs in the US remained sluggish. The company cut its forecast for the year. Profit excluding certain items fell to £1.41 billion (R25bn) from £1.88bn a year earlier, it said. GSK is losing market share in the US for Advair, a lung medication that is its best-selling product, after it lost patent protection and the country’s largest pharmacy-benefits manager stopped reimbursing prescriptions. Efforts to introduce two lung drugs, Breo and Anoro, had taken longer to bear fruit than anticipated, it said. The cost of introducing new products also hurt profit. Sales for the quarter fell 4 percent. – Bloomberg

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