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GlaxoSmithKline plans UK plant closure, more job cuts

November 12, 2008
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The Associated Press reports that GlaxoSmithKline PLC is planning to close one of its English plants, which employs 620 people by 2013. The majority of drugs made at the plant are losing their patent protection and facing generic competition within a year. Sixty percent of the production at its Dartford plant is of two drugs: Lamictal, which is used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder, and Valtrex, which is used to treat herpes. Lamictal''s patent expired earlier this year and generic competition for the drug will hit U.S. pharmacies in July. Valtrex''s patent will expire next year. As a result, GlaxoSmithKline''s sales of the two drugs are set to dry up over the next several years. The announcement comes less than a week after they announced that they are reducing their U.S. sales force by 1,000 to cut costs amid growing competition from generic drugs, as increasing numbers of the company''s profitable patents expire. GlaxoSmithKline currently employs around 100,000 people worldwide.

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