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GSK buys nasal strips

12th October 2006

UK pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has agreed to buy CNS, the US consumer healthcare group, for $566m (£303m).

The take-over will add the well-known "Breathe Right" nasal strip to GSKs portfolio of over-the-counter drugs.  GSKs consumer arm, which produces popular brands including Panadol pain killers, Aquafresh toothpaste and Lucozade and Ribena soft drinks, reported sales of almost £3bn last year. John Clarke, president of GSK Consumer Healthcare, said: "CNS's two major brands fit with our growth strategy. The opportunity for growth through geographic expansion and pipeline acquisition make this an exciting prospect." 

GSK hopes that sales of over-the-counter medicines will increase in the current climate of escalating healthcare costs and its acquisition of CNS is part of an overall strategy to boost its consumer healthcare division. Earlier this year the company lost out to Johnson & Johnson in the race to buy Pfizer's consumer division, which makes Listerine mouthwash and Nicorette anti-smoking patches. GSK also lost out last year in a bid to acquire Boots International.

The acquisition of CNS comes as GSK filed for EU approval for Tykerb, which has been hailed as a ‘wonder-drug’ in the fight against breast cancer. 


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