The Daily Telegraph

Haleon in row with GSK over Zantac bill

- By Hannah Boland

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”.

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