AstraZeneca Halts Production of Asthma Treatment


AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) said Monday it will stop producing its asthma treatment Pulmicort due to “complex manufacturing issues” related to technical aspects of the inhaler.

The news sent shares of its technical partner for the drug, SkyePharma, down nearly 17%, though traders yawned the effect on London’s AstraZeneca, sending its shares only marginally lower.

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SkyePharma, which developed the medicine’s formula, achieves royalties from the product that reflect 5% of its total revenue.

“We have exhausted all potential solutions in our efforts to continue supplying this medicine,” David Smith, executive vice president and Global Operations and IS at AstraZeneca. “The time required to fully resolve the technical issues is highly uncertain.”

The drug maker said the issue is not related to the active ingredient, budesonide, or any other AstraZeneca respiratory products, and patients can continue using the device until they have depleted their current supply.

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