The Daily Telegraph
Haleon in row with GSK over Zantac bill
THE consumer drug maker Haleon is embroiled in a legal row with its former owner, GSK, over who should shoulder a possible multibillion-dollar compensation bill for heartburn drug Zantac.
Haleon, which was spun out of GSK earlier this year, said yesterday that it had rejected a request to take on partial liability for legal claims relating to Zantac. The drug is facing more than 2,000 US lawsuits after being pulled from sale over allegations it contained cancer-causing ingredients.
Haleon is not a party to any of the lawsuits. However, GSK has argued that “there are grounds for it to bring indemnification claims in respect of certain potential liabilities, including against Haleon”. A spokesman for GSK said yesterday that it “does not agree with Haleon’s position”.
The situation risks creating a rift between the two FTSE 100 companies, which until July this year were one organisation. GSK still holds a 13.5pc stake in Haleon, while fellow former owner Pfizer owns 32pc.
Haleon is understood to have consulted with its external legal team.
Brian Mcnamara, Haleon’s chief executive, said: “We don’t believe we have any liability. We thought it was
important to clarify that not only for GSK and Pfizer but for our shareholder base.” Haleon’s shares have fallen by more than 13pc since it was spun off.
GSK has argued that suggestions Zantac contained ingredients that could cause cancer are “inconsistent with the science”.