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GSK Plunges on Further Avandia Woes

Weak sales of the diabetes drug and competition from generics lead pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline to warn shareholders that earnings will fall

A shock profit warning from GlaxoSmithKline sent its shares plummeting yesterday after the drug giant said "the shadow of Avandia would continue to make life difficult" in 2008.

Sales of the blockbuster diabetes drug Avandia fell by almost a third in the US last year following the publication of a report that linked it to an increased risk of heart attack. In the fourth quarter, sales were down 55 per cent to £130m.