European Commission Approves Pfizer-Hospira Merger
The European Commission has cleared the way for Pfizer to acquire Hospira, pending the divestiture of its Remicade biosimilar and certain sterile injectable drugs.
The Commission’s concern is that Pfizer might delay or discontinue development of its biosimilar of Janssen Biotech’s Remicade (infliximab) to focus on a biosimilar co-marketed by Hospira and Celltrion. Alternatively, the drugmaker might give the product back to Celltrion. Either scenario could delay patient access to infliximab and hurt price competition.
The Commission cites high combined marketshares of Pfizer and Hospira and the scarcity of competitors in some EU member states as rationale for requiring Pfizer to divest five of its injectables — carboplatin, cytarabine, epirubicin, vacomycin and voriconazole.
The drugmaker announced plans to acquire Hospira in February for $17 billion. The deal is expected to close this year. — Jonathon Shacat