GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) is a British multinational pharmaceutical, biologics, vaccines and consumer healthcare company which has its headquarters in Brentford, London. As of March 2014, it was the world’s sixth-largest pharmaceutical company after Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Hoffmann-La Roche, Pfizer, and Sanofi, measured by 2013 revenue. The company was established in 2000 by the merger of Glaxo Wellcome (formed from the acquisition of Wellcome plc by Glaxo plc) and SmithKline Beecham plc (formed from the merger of Beecham Group plc and SmithKline Beckman Corporation, which in turn was formed by combining the Smith, Kline & French and Beckman companies).
The company has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. As of 2 May 2014 it had a market capitalisation of Â£79 billion, the fourth-largest of any company listed on the London Stock Exchange. It has a secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Andrew Witty has been the chief executive officer since May 2008.
GSK manufactures drugs and vaccines for major disease areas such as asthma, cancer, infections, diabetes, digestive and mental health conditions, the biggest selling of which were Advair, Avodart, Flovent, Augmentin, Lovaza, and Lamictal in 2013.:32 Many medicines were historically discovered or developed at GSK and its predecessor companies and are now sold as generics. Its drugs and vaccines earned Â£21.3 billion in 2013. Its consumer healthcare division, which earned Â£5.2 billion in 2013, sells oral healthcare and nutritional products, drinks and over-the-counter medicines, including Sensodyne, Boost and Horlicks.
In July 2012 GSK pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to a pay $3 billion to settle the criminal charges as well as civil qui tam lawsuits in the largest settlement paid by a drug company at the time. The criminal charges were for promoting Paxil and Wellbutrin for unapproved uses and failing to report safety data about Avandia; GSK paid $1 billion to settle the criminal charges. The remaining $2 billion were part of the civil settlement over unapproved promotion and paying kickbacks, making false statements concerning the safety of Avandia; and reporting false prices to Medicaid. GSK also signed an agreement which obligated it to make major changes to the way it did business.
On December 17, 2013, GSK announced that it would stop paying professionals for speaking at medical conferences. The company stated that it would still pay fees to doctors for functions it regards as critical to obtaining insights into specific diseases, including performing company sponsored clinical trials, scientific advisory services, and market research.
GlaxoSmithKline received top ranking among international pharmaceutical companies in the Access to Medicines Index in 2010, 2012 and 2014. In 2014 the company applied for regulatory approval for the first vaccine against malaria. The vaccine was developed as a joint project with the PATH vaccines initiative and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The company has committed to make the vaccine available in developing countries for a price set at 5% above the cost of production.
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