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Firm halts antidepressant research

5 February, 2010  

A major pharmaceutical firm is halting research into antidepressants in a bid to save £500m a year in costs by 2012.

GlaxoSmithKline announced the move as it unveiled an 18% rise in full-year pre-tax profits to £7.9bn. This was an increase of 16% to £28.4bn in the 12 months to December 31.

Antidepressant medicines have represented a major part of the company’s sales, with more than £2bn generated from Wellbutrin and Seroxat or Paxi. The last drug was criticised by regulators and drew a series of litigations against the company.

The move, announced by chief executive Andrew Witty, is part of a change in research and development designed to strengthen productivity at GSK.

AstraZeneca and Pfizer are among other pharmaceutical groups which are planning large cost cuts and a move towards more licensing of drugs at the expense of in-house drug development.

Copyright Press Association 2010
Medicines information