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Opinion
Chris Hughes

GSK’s Got Heartburn That £50 Billion Could Probably Fix

The pharma giant turned down Unilever's mostly cash bid last year and is now embroiled in Zantac claims

Zantac was pulled off the market in 2019 due to concerns it was carcinogenic.

Zantac was pulled off the market in 2019 due to concerns it was carcinogenic.

Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America

Investors are waking up to the risk of litigation against the makers of Zantac, once a blockbuster treatment for heartburn. All of a sudden, GSK Plc’s decision to spin off rather than sell its consumer-healthcare business, Haleon Plc, is looking costly.

Haleon, which is behind brands like Sensodyne toothpaste and Panadol painkillers, was a joint venture between GSK, the majority owner, and Pfizer Inc. until it gained independence through the July separation.