GlaxoSmithKline’s asthma drug gets a boost as FDA approves “at-home” treatment
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)’s severe asthma treatment, Nucala, has fought a pitched battle against competitor drugs from AstraZeneca. Now, it may have found a way to strike a meaningful blow: as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), America’s regulators, have approved a new, at-home treatment option. Previously, patients would have to visit their doctor once a month for a shot of the treatment, so this is a big step forward in regards to convenience. Sheri Mullen, senior vice president of GSK’s US speciality business, said “choice is good for patients” and noted that the at-home treatment was “very simple and easy to use after that initial 1-2-3 step training.”
GlaxoSmithKline’s share price has risen by 4% so far this year
Source: Yahoo Finance
Discussing how the decision to take Nucala at home would be made, Mullen said: “It very much is a shared decision between the physician and the patient. Some patients do like to come in and physicians want them to come in, and other patients, based on their lifestyle and the physicians believing that they can do this at home, will select that option.”
GSK is eager to sees how many takers Nucala’s new home-treatment gets – at time of writing, the drug is the only one in its class with an autoinjector option, giving it a potential advantage over rivals.
Playing into this new option, GSK has decided to roll back stringent pay rules for its pharmaceutical reps – now, they will be able to take home more cash when they rack up more prescription sales. Mullen addressed that strategy, saying: “Specialty medicine is very much about high science. You want to have the best people, and what we were seeing was that we weren’t as competitive as we could be based on the needs of the professionals in that space.”
Dominion holds GlaxoSmithKline in its Global Trends Managed Fund.
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