Pfizer says purchase of Wyeth will close Thursday after antitrust approval

Antitrust regulators in Canada and the United States cleared Pfizer Inc.’s US$68 billion purchase of Wyeth on Wednesday on the condition the companies sell a number of animal health products to a German drugmaker.

OTTAWA — Antitrust regulators in Canada and the United States cleared Pfizer Inc.’s US$68 billion purchase of Wyeth on Wednesday on the condition the companies sell a number of animal health products to a German drugmaker.

Under the agreement with the companies will divest certain animal pharmaceutical and vaccine products, including Wyeth’s vaccines for cattle, dogs, and cats, and medicines used in treating cattle, dogs, cats, and horses., to Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc.

Pfizer will also amend a distribution arrangement with Paladin Labs Inc. governing the distribution, marketing and sale of Pfizer’s human pharmaceutical product, Estring, in Canada.

“The parties’ commitments address our concern that the merger would lessen competition substantially in the supply of certain human and animal health products,” said Melanie Aitken, commissioner of competition.

The merger is expected to close Thursday.

The deal will pump up the sales and pipeline of New York-based Pfizer by giving it Madison, N.J.-based Wyeth’s biotechnology drugs and vaccines like Prevnar. Its top selling drugs include the antidepressant Effexor, and Enbrel for rheumatoid arthritis.

“We are pleased to have received all of the requisite regulatory approvals for our combination with Wyeth,” Pfizer chairman and chief executive Jeffrey Kindler said.

“We now look forward to combining the two companies so that we can achieve meaningful results for patients, customers and the communities we serve, as well as for our shareholders.”

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