- Pfizer and Mylan are considering adding Pfizer's Meridian Medial Technologies unit, which produces Mylan’s EpiPen, into a new generics business they are creating, a Pfizer spokeswoman said.
- The two companies are discussing the arrangement as a supplement to their broader deal to merge Pfizer's Upjohn division with Mylan, but terms haven’t been finalized, she said.
- A final decision should be reached by the time the Upjohn-Mylan merger closes in 2020, according to Reuters, which earlier reported on the talks.
Moving Meridian into the new business would offload a headache for Pfizer, as it has struggled to produce a steady supply of EpiPen auto-injectors. The company most recently worked out a deal with the Food and Drug Administration to extend expiration dates on EpiPens by four months.
For people with severe allergies, the EpiPen has become a staple product. Parents and schools routinely stock them, and the supply shortage has caused frustration across the U.S. It also opened a door to competitors such as Sandoz, which makes an epinephrine injection called Symjepi.
The new Pfizer/Mylan company would have a steady stream of income from EpiPen, assuming production issues can be addressed. Additionally, it would have a series of off-patent branded drugs from Pfizer including Lipitor (atorvastatin), Lyrica (pregabalin) and Viagra (sildenafil).
Mylan and Pfizer announced plans Monday for the new generics company, which will be majority-owned by Pfizer shareholders.
Analysts say the larger merger offers a lifeline to Mylan, but they question the long-term growth prospects. Mylan has suffered from intense competition in the generics market, causing its sales to slide. Upjohn, meanwhile, has benefited from a stream of off-patent products from Pfizer that are expected to dry up after it moves out from under the giant drugmaker.
Pfizer and Mylan said they are targeting an estimated $1 billion in cost savings with the Upjohn-Mylan merger by 2024. The companies expect their deal to close by the middle of next year, after regulatory reviews and a vote by Mylan shareholders.