Rx INDUSTRY: Glaxo, SmithKline One Step Closer to Merger
The European Union authorized a proposed $74 billion merger between Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham Monday, bringing the two drug companies one step closer to becoming the world's largest pharmaceutical corporation, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. To receive approval, Glaxo and SmithKline agreed to sell European rights to several of their drugs, totaling $100 million in annual revenues. The merged drug giant, however, would have raked in $6.3 billion had it existed last year. According to analysts, the agreement was "on the order of what was expected." The merger still needs approval from U.S. regulators, investors in both companies and the British courts. Despite the possible ramifications of the union, the European Commission remained unconcerned about broad monopoly issues, noting that even as the world's biggest drug company, Glaxo SmithKline would only hold 7.3% of the world drug market. The merger is expected to be completed this summer (Knox, 5/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.