FDA approves GSK's Flonase as an OTC treatment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — GlaxoSmithKline on Thursday announced that the Food and Drug Administration has approved Flonase Allergy Relief (fluticasone propionate 50 mcg spray), as an over-the-counter treatment for temporary relief of the symptoms of hay fever or upper respiratory allergies.

Around 50 million people in the United States suffer from nasal allergies, and in 2010, Americans with allergic rhintis spent approximately $17.5 billion on health-related costs, according to GSK. Additionally, they lost more than 6 million work and school days and made more than 16 million visits to the doctor.

“With the significant number of allergy sufferers in the United States and a considerable number of those unsatisfied with their current treatments, we believe the wide availability of Flonase Allergy Relief over the counter is great news for these individuals," said Colin Mackenzie, president of Consumer Healthcare North America at GSK. "GSK has a strong heritage — 40 years — in discovering and developing respiratory treatments used by patients worldwide.  We are proud of our track record of successful Rx-to-OTC switches, which over the years have significantly improved access to important medicines for our consumers.”

Flonase Allergy Relief will be available over-the-counter in early 2015.

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