GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) faces mounting questions over shortages of its hepatitis B vaccine in the UK, The Telegraph has reported. At the same time, the pharmco’s supplies to the US appear to be unaffected.
GSK’s share price closed in the red on Friday, shedding 1.06 percent to end the session at 1,490.00p, and underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index closing 0.86 percent lower at 7,323.98 points. The group’s shares have lost more than 10 percent of their value over the past year, and are down by some four percent in the year-to-date.
The Telegraph reported over the weekend that liver disease campaigners had suggested that GSK might be ‘prioritising’ the massive American market, where there seems to be no shortage of its hepatitis B vaccine, as opposed to rationing in the UK. While earlier this month Public Health England (PHE) took the rare step of advising doctors to limit prescription of the vaccine, citing a ‘global shortage,’ the newspaper noted that it had learnt that shortages of the vaccine were not as widespread as suggested.
“If GSK is prioritising supply to the US I’d like to know why they’ve made that decision,” Andrew Langford, chief executive of charity the British Liver Trust, told The Telegraph. The newspaper quoted a spokesman for the company as pointing to a global shortage of hepatitis vaccines, without commenting on the apparent disparity in supply between the UK and US.
The 25 analysts offering 12-month price targets for GSK for the Financial Times have a median target of 1,775.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 2,100.00p and a low estimate of 1,300.00p. As of August 18, the consensus forecast amongst 30 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group has it that the company will outperform the market.