Pfizer to Merge its Off-Patent Drug Unit with Mylan
Pfizer agreed to combine its off-patent drugs division, which sells treatments like the cholesterol drug Lipitor, with the pharmaceutical company Mylan, creating a potential powerhouse in the increasingly challenging business of producing generic medicines.
Pfizer’s decision to combine the off-patent unit, Upjohn, with Mylan in an all-stock deal coincides with the pharmaceutical giant’s narrowing of its focus on more profitable, branded drugs. Though Mylan mainly produces generic drugs, it is best known for its EpiPen emergency allergy treatment.
Pfizer used Upjohn to package older products like Lipitor and the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra — whose patents have expired or are about to — with its generics business. Sales of those drugs have plummeted in the United States, but Pfizer hoped Upjohn would be able to capitalize on the growing market for so-called branded generics in countries like China, where low-quality and even fraudulent generic drugs proliferate and consumers seek out brands like Pfizer as a guarantee of quality.
Story Source & Image Source: The New York Times
Originally written by: Katie Thomas and Michael J. de la Merced
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