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Mylan-Upjohn merger receives go ahead from Europe, Australia and New Zealand Posted 02/10/2020

The proposed merger between Mylan and Pfizer’s Upjohn receives the go-ahead from authorities in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The agreement to combine the two companies was finalised on 29 July 2020. However, the transaction was held-up due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is now likely to close in the later part of 2020.

Authorities in the European Union, Australia and New Zealand have previously expressed concerns regarding competition in the merger between Mylan and Upjohn, Pfizer’s off-patent branded and generic established medicines business. In response to these concerns and to enable the merger to proceed, the two companies have agreed to divest various products in these countries.

In April 2020, the European Commission (EC) allowed the transaction to proceed after the two companies agreed to sell certain Mylan generic drugs across 20 countries in the European Economic Area and the UK. The EC identified 36 overlaps of Mylan and the Pfizer established medicines division which raised antitrust concerns. These had overlaps in several disease areas. For example, Mylan has a generic version of Pfizer’s Revatio, which is used as a treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension in countries such as France and the UK. The specifics of the divestiture have not been revealed but the EC has stated that the sell-off will remove concerning overlaps.

In September 2020, the duo agreed to divest three off-patent branded pharmaceuticals in Australia. These are: Amlodipine/Atorvastatin (Brand name: Caduet – a lipid-regulating cardiovascular treatment), Latanoprost (Brand name: Xalatan – an anti-glaucoma treatment), and Latanoprost/Timolol (Brand name: Xalacom – an anti-glaucoma treatment). Competition will be maintained as these are now to be bought by Aspen. Additionally, in New Zealand, four products are to be divested. These are Gabapentin, Pregabalin and Celecoxib, that are subsidised in the public market and Sildenafil that is available in the private market.

Merger approval in the US is still pending. Both companies have received a second request for more information on the deal from the Federal Trade Commission.

The new company is to be named Viatris and will be owned by Upjohn. Its formation will expand the merging companies’ capabilities in 165 markets. Mylan will supply a diverse portfolio of products across many geographies and therapeutic areas, together with a reliable pipeline, high-quality manufacturing and supply chain excellence. Upjohn brings trusted and iconic brands, such as Viagra (sildenafil), and proven commercialization capabilities. Together, it is hoped that the companies will bring more generics and biosimilars to new markets.

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