GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) is a British pharmaceutical company headquartered in Brentford, London. Established in 2000 by a merger of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham, GSK was the world's sixth largest pharmaceutical company as of 2015, after Pfizer, Novartis, Merck, Hoffmann-La Roche and Sanofi. Andrew Witty has been the chief executive officer since 2008.
The company has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. As of December 2015 it had a market capitalisation of £65 billion, the fifth largest on the London Stock Exchange. It has a secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
GSK's drugs and vaccines earned £21.3 billion in 2013; its top-selling products that year were Advair, Avodart, Flovent, Augmentin, Lovaza and Lamictal. GSK's consumer products, which earned £5.2 billion in 2013, include Sensodyne and Aquafresh toothpaste, the malted-milk drink Horlicks, Abreva for cold sores, Breathe Right nasal strips, Nicoderm and Nicorette nicotine replacements, and Night Nurse, a cold remedy. The company developed the first malaria vaccine, RTS,S, which it said in 2014 it would make available for five percent above cost. Legacy products developed at GSK include several listed in the World Health Organization Model List of Essential Medicines, such as amoxicillin, mercaptopurine, pyrimethamine and zidovudine.
In 2012 GSK pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the United States, and agreed to pay a $3 billion (£1.9bn) settlement, including a criminal fine of $1 billion. It was the largest health-care fraud case to date in that country and the largest settlement by a drug company. The charges related to GSK's promotion of drugs for unapproved uses, including the anti-depressants Paxil and Wellbutrin, failure to report safety data about the diabetes drug Avandia, reporting false prices to Medicaid, and kickbacks to physicians. The company announced in 2013 that it would no longer pay physicians to promote its drugs or attend medical conferences, and would abolish prescription targets for its sales staff.
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^ (Source: Wikipedia)