What to do with Avandia sales force?

GlaxoSmithKline may cut or redeploy its Avandia sales force in the wake of safety concerns that have virtually destroyed the drugs sales. Avandia is GSK’s second bestselling drug, earning £1.4 billion (about $2.8 billion) in 2006. Earlier this year, a New England Journal of Medicine study caused a uproar when it pointed to previously undisclosed safety risks associated with the diabetes drug. However, an expert committee of the FDA recommended by an overwhelming margin that Avandia should stay on the market with heightened warnings regarding its risks.

According to the Times, “A spokewsoman for GSK said the company was in ‘wait-and-see mode’ ahead of a final decision from the FDA but said that it was normal for the group to appraise regularly its allocation of staff and resources.” Given the GSK has a number of drug in the pipeline, the company may choose to redeploy salespeople on new drugs rather than cut them loose entirely.

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