GlaxoSmithKline is set to acquire a 36.5% stake in Novartis’ consumer health arm
The consumer he...
Global healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is set to acquire a 36.5% stake in Novartis’ consumer healthcare arm for up to $13bn.
The consumer health division is currently a joint venture between the two companies, but GSK is set to acquire a number of brands through the acquisition – Sensodyne and Nicotinell are two of note.
“The proposed transaction addresses one of our key capital allocation priorities and will allow GSK shareholders to capture the full value of one of the world’s leading consumer healthcare businesses,” explained Emma Walmsley, Chief Executive Officer of GSK.
“For the group, the transaction is expected to benefit adjusted earnings and cash flows, helping us accelerate efforts to improve performance.”
The news follows on from the company’s decision to pull out of acquiring Pfizer’s consumer division and emphasises GSK’s strategy to place its pharma and consumer operations under one roof.
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The deal will enable Novartis to further focus on the development and growth of its core businesses and has seen both companies shares rise.
Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis, said: "While our consumer healthcare joint venture with GSK is progressing well, the time is right for Novartis to divest a non-core asset at an attractive price.
“This will strengthen our ability to allocate capital to grow our core businesses, drive shareholder returns, and execute value creating bolt-on acquisitions as we continue to build the leading medicines company, powered by digital and data."
Additionally, Novartis will continue to look at areas of potential growth. Its interest in the Chinese pharmaceutical market is one which will further strengthen the company’s research and development capabilities, as well as introduce new technologies to ensure it remains a key competitor in the market.
“One of the things we are still looking for is faster reimbursement for higher-technology medicines,” explained Narasimhan.
With a significant ageing population and rise of lifestyle diseases across Asia, healthcare in the country is ripe for disruption, where investment in the development of new healthcare solutions continue to rise. It is an area where both companies will be looking with increased interest going forward.
Dexcom: changing the lives of people with type 1 diabetes
It is estimated that 9.3% of adults around the world are living with type 1 diabetes, which amounts to a total of 463 million people. A further 1.1 million children and adolescents under the age of 20 are living with the condition.
Unlike the more prevalent type 2 diabetes, where the body still produces insulin and symptoms develop slowly, people with type 1 diabetes need regular insulin injections or pumps, and must monitor their sugar levels frequently.
In recent years a number of remote glucose monitoring systems have become available that patients can use at home. These work with a sensor, usually placed under the skin, that measures glucose levels every few minutes. This information is then transmitted wirelessly to a device like a smartphone or tablet, which can then be shared with their clinician.
British actress Nina Wadia's son Aidan, 14, has type 1 diabetes, and has been managing his condition using Dexcom, a glucose monitoring system used by patients all over the world. Here Wadia explains how Dexcom has improved their lives.
As a parent of someone with type 1 diabetes, what is your day-to-day life like?
Being able to take a breath, think and pivot constantly without getting frustrated becomes an essential mindset because sometimes it feels like each day is determined to be different from the day before. Whatever worked yesterday is going to misfire today.
Which areas of yours and Aidan’s life are most impacted by diabetes?
The one thing that you have to fight hard to reclaim is spontaneity, especially when it comes to food and exercise. It’s only when this is taken do you realise how essential each one is. You can be flexible and there are no real limits, but only in the sense that a great athlete can be flexible without limits because they’ve trained super hard to be that way. So we’ve all had to become athletes when it comes to being spontaneous.
How has Dexcom helped you and Aidan?
Dexcom has brought future science fiction to real life today. The continuous glucose monitoring system is tiny, sits discreetly on his body and gives him a ten-day breather between sensor changes, so it's goodbye finger-pricking seven times daily.
Dexcom is totally active at a grass roots level and for Diabetes Awareness has pledged to donate £2,000 if #DexcomDiabetesStories and/or #DexcomWarriorStories is shared 200 times! I’ll be sharing more on social media and would love to hear how other families are winning their fights.
Maybe most importantly Dexcom is trying to introduce a reimbursement programme for type 1 diabetes patients which will give greater access to modern, life changing hi-tech. I want to spread the word on the importance of accessing it through this campaign.
If you compared your life today with how it was before Aidan was using Dexcom, what has changed?
It's always working, which lets him take his mind off diabetes for longer stretches. It also lets me get off his back. We both receive alerts so I no longer have to pester him by asking him what his number is, and especially importantly, I don’t have to wake him at night to prick his finger if I’m worried. Dexcom gave us back our sleep!