GSK Shares Fall due to Health Risks Over Drug

According to the Telepgraph, there are fears over the safety of GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drug Avandia. The fears stem from concerns about links heart attacks and could lead to the drug being pulled from the market. As a result, shares in the pharmaceutical giant have fallen 1pc to £12.55 in early trading.

Avandia used to be Glaxo’s second-biggest drug, selling $3bn (£1.9bn) in 2006 until health concerns emerged. Its sales plunged to $1.2bn in 2009, or some 2.7pc of group sales.

Concerns about the drugs safety came to light as a result of a BMJ investigation which found that an independent group which advisers ministers – the Commission on Human Medicines, had recommended the withdrawal of Avandia back in July.

An extraordinary expert meeting will be held by the EMA – the decentralised European body responsible for licensing the diabetes drug in 2000. The purpose of the meeting will be to review the drugs safety before making a final decision.

Leading doctors along with the British Medical Journal (BMJ) have attacked the response as they believe Avandia should have been pulled from the market immediately due to the health risks associated with it.

The BMJ’s editor Dr Fiona Godlee, stated: “The time has now come for this drug to be withdrawn from the market.”

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