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