HEALTH

GlaxoSmithKline wins recommendation to sell Alli in Europe

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON GlaxoSmithKline won a recommendation from European regulators Thursday that it be allowed to sell its weight loss drug Alli over-the-counter in Europe.

The European Medicines Agency said it had recommended the switch from prescription-only to nonprescription for a 60-milligram dose of alli, the same dose approved for sale OTC in the United States. The European Commission now needs to rubber-stamp the recommendation.

The European Medicines Agency said it had recommended the switch from prescription-only to nonprescription for a 60-milligram dose of alli, the same dose approved for sale OTC in the United States. The European Commission now needs to rubber-stamp the recommendation.

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GlaxoSmithKline reports 16 percent drop in U.S. OTC sales

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON GlaxoSmithKline on Wednesday reported a 16 percent decline in its U.S. sales of over-the-counter-medicines, to $253.6 million for the three months ending Sept. 30. The decline included double-digit decreases across its Tums franchise and the weight loss drug alli of 16 percent and 50 percent, respectively. Tums and alli each generated approximately 29.5 million in revenue.

GSK’s largest OTC division—the company’s smoking cessation products—were up 2 percent to $98.2 million. And while sales of Breathe Right are presently down 8 percent to $21.3 million, this cough/cold season may spell opportunity for the Breathe Right brand as a drug-free alternative to pediatric cough-cold medicines.

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Wyeth reports dip in revenues; attributes flux to upheaval over kids’ cough-cold dosing

BY Michael Johnsen

MADISON, N.J. Net revenues for Wyeth’s Worldwide Consumer Healthcare division fell 5 percent for the third quarter ending Sept. 30, the company reported Wednesday morning, primarily to a decrease in sales of Robitussin and Advil. Sales of Advil were down 7 percent to $165 million; and while Robitussin sales were not broken out specifically, the brand is one of several that have been negatively impacted over the confusion on whether or not pediatric cough-cold are safe and effective.

“The cough-cold market is changing considerably as illustrated” by the recent announcements from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association around voluntary label changes advising consumers not to give cough-cold medicines to children under the age of four and the January 2008 Food and Drug Administration announcement banning the marketing of these medicines to children under the age of two, commented Greg Norden, Wyeth senior vice president and chief financial officer, this morning during a call with analysts. Wyeth expects this business to rebound in the coming season, Norden noted.

“We’ve also launched a new product, Robitussin DM” to take advantage of a growing adult market, commented Cavan Redmond, president of Wyeth Consumer Healthcare.

The company’s dietary supplement franchise proved positive, however. Sales of Centrum were up 7 percent to $186 million.

Wyeth completed its acquisition of the Thermacare product line from Procter & Gamble last month and is expected to enhance Wyeth’s global position in pain management, the company stated.

Overall, worldwide net revenue increased 4 percent, to $5.8 billion, for the quarter. Excluding the favorable impact of foreign exchange, worldwide net revenue increased 2 percent.

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