GlaxoSmithKline’s Advair has earned the company over £100bn since its launch in 1998, but patent protection was lost six years ago. Nevertheless confidence was high at GSK as the asthma inhaler was considered to be a difficult drug and delivery system for anyone to copy. However, Mylan Inc has now had its cheaper version approved by US regulators, which means GSK will have to sharply reduce its prices in order to remain competitive. The recent launch of this generic rival to Advair is estimated to hit GSK’s adjusted operating profit this year by somewhere between £437mln and £787mln.
“Advair’s generic rival set to hit GSK profits“
CEO Emma Walmsley said: "GSK delivered improved operating performance in 2018 with Group sales growth, strong commercial execution of new product launches, especially Shingrix, continued cost discipline and better cash generation. We are making good progress against our priority to rebuild our Pharmaceuticals pipeline, particularly in oncology. Since July, we have doubled the number of oncology assets in clinical development to 16. During 2019, we expect to receive pivotal data on three new cancer medicines, all of which have the potential to be launched in the next two years. We are also focused on completing the transactions to divest our Consumer Healthcare nutrition business to Unilever; and the formation of our new joint venture with Pfizer that will create a new, world leading Consumer Healthcare company."