Drug merger aimed at more medicines: CEOs
TRENTON, N.J. — The heads of drugmakers Pfizer and Allergan said Tuesday that the record $160 billion combination they're planning is meant to produce more medicines and boost revenue, not to just slash jobs and other costs as the companies previously have done. The deal announced last November would move Pfizer's official headquarters for tax purposes from New York to Allergan's base in Ireland. The strategy, called a tax inversion, would sharply decrease Pfizer's income tax bill compared to current U.S. tax rates, though the drugmaker's operations would still be run from New York. Pfizer has a history of making such huge acquisitions of other drugmakers, then closing some facilities and eliminating thousands of jobs to boost profit quickly, though usually just temporarily. Over the last 15 years, along with many smaller acquisitions, Pfizer has gobbled up Top 20 drugmakers Warner-Lambert, Pharmacia and Wyeth, paying $68 billion for Wyeth alone in 2009.