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Merck & Co to pay $41bn for Schering Plough

- Last updated on GMT

Merck & Co is to buy fellow US drug major Schering Plough for $41bn (€32.6bn) to boost its pipeline in the face of impending patent expiry for key products.

At its most recent financial presentation Schering reported a healthy pipeline of late-stage drugs the most promising of which being an anti-clotting candidate called TRA that could hit the shelves as soon as 2011.

While still dwarfed by Pfizer’s $68bn swoop for Wyeth, Merck’s move part of a growing trend on major acquisitions sweeping Big Pharma in the wake of the global downturn and threat of greater generic competition.

Natixis Securities analyst Philippe Lanone told Bloomberg ​that “It clearly is a year of mergers for pharmaceutical companies,” adding that “they don’t have much of a choice if they are to guarantee EPS growth in the years to come.​”

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