DHAKA (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline will shut its drug manufacturing operations in Bangladesh by the end of this year and will continue with its healthcare business, the managing director of its local businesses said on Friday.
Globally GSK’s pharmaceuticals business has seen sluggish growth in recent years. The company on Wednesday unveiled a new restructuring program to deliver annual cost savings of 400 million pounds by 2021.
Nakibur Rahman said the board of GSK Bangladesh Ltd on Thursday decided to close the drug making factory in Bangladesh.
He said GSK Bangladesh Ltd would continue with its profitable consumer health care business that produces items like Horlicks, Sensodyne and Glaxose-D.
“All of our medicines are substitutable with generic and therefore patients should be able to access a range of suitable alternatives,” Nakibur said. He also said the company’s decision would impact about 1,000 employees. GSK Bangladesh will now seek shareholders nod for a final decision.
“GSK will run pharmaceuticals in our emerging markets region as an integrated operation, putting in place the right commercial structure in markets to deliver a sustainable growth ambition,” Nakibur said without elaborating further.
The state-run Investment Corporation of Bangladesh owns 12 percent stake in the company, while 6 percent of the shares are held by public and different institutions.
(Reporting By Serajul Quadir; Additional reporting by Nazimuddin Shyamol; Editing by Nidhi Verma and Jane Merriman)