Pfizer Buys Another Marketing Partner

August 1, 2002
L.J. Sellers
L.J. Sellers

L.J. Sellers, senior editor, moved to Pharmaceutical Executive in July 1999 after writing for Pharmaceutical Technology for one year. She acquisitions articles, writes and edits features, including cover profiles, and handles various special projects. Before joining Advanstar, L.J. was a freelance writer and, in addition to numerous magazine articles, has penned four novels and five scripts. Her most recent novel, Beyond Conception, will be available from online bookstores in January 2002.

Pharmaceutical Executive

Pharmaceutical Executive, Pharmaceutical Executive-08-01-2002,

When Pfizer gets in on a good thing, it isn't content to share. Two years ago the company initiated a semi-hostile takeover of Warner-Lambert to acquire full marketing rights to the hot-selling cholesterol treatment, Lipitor.

When Pfizer gets in on a good thing, it isn't content to share. Two years ago the company initiated a semi-hostile takeover of Warner-Lambert to acquire full marketing rights to the hot-selling cholesterol treatment, Lipitor. Now Pfizer is buying Pharmacia-a straight stock deal valued at $55–$60 billion that will give the industry leader full control of, and revenue from, Celebrex, the blockbuster arthritis therapy. The merger is still subject to approval by the Federal Trade Commission, but because the companies have few overlapping products, industry analysts foresee few problems.

The new giant will generate $48 billion in annual revenue, much of it coming from Pfizer blockbusters such as Lipitor, Norvasc, Zoloft, and Viagra and Pharmacia's Celebrex, Xalatan, Detrol, and Camptosar. (See "All-Star Lineup.") The next largest company, GlaxoSmithKline, had 2001 sales of $24 billion-half of the new Pfizer's revenue potential. According to reports in the Wall Street Journal, first-ranked Pfizer CEO Henry McKinnell approached ninth-ranked Pharmacia CEO Fred Hassan soon after the ink was dry on the Warner-Lambert deal. The negotiations took a year and a half and netted Hassan the role of vice-chairman and board member of the world's biggest pharma company. Most likely to be known simply as Pfizer, the new company contains the ghosts of not only Warner-Lambert and Pharmacia, but also Pharmacia's past: Upjohn, Monsanto, and JD Searle.

For the industry, it means marketing partnerships may have to be renegotiated and possibly dissolved because of antitrust issues. It may also spur another round of Big Pharma mergers in an effort to compete with a company that will spend $7 billion in R&D this year and send more than 13,000 sales reps into the field.

Related Content:

News