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» 23/07/2009 [Company watch]
China Aoxing Pharmaceutical Corp. Receives Renewal of GMP Certification for Capsule Dosage Form of Pharmaceutical Products
» 15/03/2010 [Industry news]
Recordati S.p.A And Lee Pharmaceutical Announce Partnership For Zanidip(R) In China
» 26/10/2009 [Finance]
China Growth to Remain Fast in Fourth Quarter, Official Says
» 17/08/2009 [Industry news]
Chindex Posts Profit on Product Sales, Health Services
» 07/05/2010 [Industry news]
Hong Kong: Recall of all products manufactured by Quality Pharmaceutical Lab Ltd
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GlaxoSmithKline
»31/01/2010 [Industry news]
Glaxo Smith Kline set to slash 4,000 jobs

Pharmaceutical giant pushes into emerging markets as it squeezes costs in the West

 
From The Sunday Times John Waples and Matthew Goodman BRITAIN’s biggest drugs company, Glaxo Smith Kline, is to axe up to 4,000 more jobs as part of its plans to restructure its workforce and focus increasingly on emerging markets. The bulk of the cuts will be in America and Europe, and are part of the company’s efforts to shift resources away from low-growth territories into parts of the world with greater scope to expand sales. Glaxo, which has been headed for nearly two years by chief executive Andrew Witty, employs 99,000 staff across the world and is expected to reveal plans for select cutbacks alongside its annual results this Thursday. This will be combined with a drive to make its research and development arm more cost-efficient. Although the job losses will not be as severe as those announced last week by its rival Astra Zeneca, they will provide further depressing news for a sector that is fighting to contain costs as it reduces its reliance on big-selling blockbuster drugs, many of whose patents will soon expire. Related Links Last week, Astra revealed it would cut 8,000 jobs. Its chief executive, David Brennan, warned that the company was unlikely to see a rise in sales for five years. The pipeline of new drugs is looking healthier at Glaxo than at many of its rivals, say analysts. The company’s roster of planned launches includes Menhibrix, a vaccine to combat meningitis, and Benlysta, a treatment for lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease. In total, the group has more than 30 products in the advanced stages of testing. While it continues to develop new drugs — a risky enterprise — Witty is increasingly turning to emerging markets to find growth. This has meant that thousands of jobs have already been sacrificed in the West, although the company is adding staff elsewhere. For example, it recently cut 2,000 sales jobs in America but added 1,500 staff in China. It has previously said it aims to find annual savings of £1.7 billion. The company, formed in 2000 through the merger of Glaxo Wellcome and Smithkline Beecham, is also looking to new products to deliver growth. It was this that provided the rationale for its $3.6 billion (£2.3 billion) purchase of Stiefel Laboratories, a skincare specialist, last year. This week’s financial results will be the first to include any significant contribution from Glaxo’s swine-flu vaccine. The company recently revealed that deals with governments around the world had yielded sales totalling £835m, lower than the market had been expecting. Some countries are now reducing the size of their orders. Analysts at Cazenove wrote in a note to clients last week that there remains “significant short-term uncertainty” on the outlook for sales of the vaccine. Overall, the market is expecting Witty to reveal pre-tax profits of £8.7 billion, an 11.7% increase on the previous year’s total. Group sales are predicted to rise 16% to £28.2 billion. Witty is also likely to emphasise this week the importance of Glaxo’s consumer products division, which owns brands such as Lucozade and Ribena soft drinks, Aquafresh and Sensodyne toothpaste, and over-the-counter medicines such as Panadol painkillers and Alli, a weight-loss pill. City analysts predict the division will have raised its annual sales 18% to £4.7 billion. A deal signed last year to increase sales of Lucozade in China has provided the blueprint for how Witty would like to develop the consumer healthcare side of the Glaxo empire. It is not the only large drug company to be attempting this. Last week, Sanofi-Aventis, a French rival, announced a joint venture with Minsheng Pharmaceutical Group, a Chinese company, to sell vitamin pills and nutritional supplements.

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