Breathing Easy

SRxA is pleased to report that it has been a week of good news for two of the top players in the pharmaceutical industry.

First, GlaxoSmithKline announced that they see little threat of generic competition for their asthma and COPD drug Advair® (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder) when it comes off patent in the US in 2011.  Noting that “it is very difficult to make a generic version of Advair,” GSK’s CEO, Andrew Witty, told the audience of a JP Morgan healthcare conference that “we are working on the basis of substantial Advair business for the foreseeable future.”

Shortly thereafter, in a separate announcement, the FDA noted that it completed the safety review of Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim‘s once daily COPD drug, Spiriva® (tiotropium bromide inhalation powder) and came to the conclusion that “available data do not support an association” between use of the drug and increased risk of stroke, heart attack or death due to cardiovascular causes.  The safety review was initiated in 2008 after data from a meta-analysis suggested a small excess risk of stroke compared with placebo.

Word on Health hopes that the new year will continue to bring good news for pharma.

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