EU regulators approve Pfizer’s acquisition of Pharmacia

FEB. 27–BRUSSELS, Belgium–European Union regulators today approved Pfizer Inc.’s $60 billion acquisition of rival Pharmacia Corp. on the condition that it get rid of some products.

The deal, which still requires U.S. approval, would bolster Pfizer’s position as the world’s biggest drug company.

The European Commission says the deal ”raised serious doubts” in a number of treatment areas, raising the need to shed some products to win approval.

The two companies agreed to sell some of their Viagra-type and incontinence drugs currently in development, as well as an animal penicillin drug in Germany. It also will sell or license the hypertension drug Ketensin in the Netherlands.

New York-based Pfizer has blockbuster drugs such as cholesterol-lowering agent Lipitor and erectile dysfunction drug Viagra. Pharmacia, based in Peapack, N.J., makes the cancer drug Camptosar as well as Rogaine hair products and the Nicorette smoking cessation line.

Pharmacia said last week it still expects the acquisition to close by the end of March, although U.S. regulators have not yet given approval.


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