Generic drug maker Teva Pharmaceuticals' $7.4 billion bid for competitor Ivax could create a "global powerhouse," according to reports in the financial press. Analysts like the deal's international ramifications as Teva gains a foothold in potentially lucrative Latin American and European markets. The buy will make Teva the largest generic drug maker in the world, knocking Novartis out of the top spot. Supporters note that the deal comes at a time when a near record number of blockbuster drugs are close to losing their patent protections, including cholesterol fighters Zocor and Pravachol, as well as Pfizer's antidepressant Zoloft.
- see this story from The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)
PLUS: Analysts are no longer quite as certain as they once were that patent expirations will automatically translate into profits for generics makers in the future. Some worry there could be a gold rush. Merrill-Lynch analyst Gregory Gilbert is one skeptic. Story (Wall Street Journal sub. req.)