Can This Business Help Pfizer in Emerging Markets?
In his efforts to make Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), the world’s biggest drugmaker, a more efficient and streamlined company, its Chief Executive Officer Ian Read has been cutting expenses and divesting several of its businesses — including its animal health and infant nutrition units — since taking over in 2010. But the pharmaceutical company will not be divesting its $3.2 billion-a-year consumer health unit because the business will be a key part of the company’s efforts to sell prescription drugs that have become over-the-counter products.
The unit — which manufacturers ChapStick lip balm, Advil, and Centrum vitamins, will “absolutely” stay at Pfizer, the executive told investors, according to Bloomberg, on a conference call organized by Sanford C. Bernstein last week. Medicines that are transitioning to nonprescription status will be an increasing trend, he added. “It’s a business that has a great store of value for us,” Read said.
Pfizer’s chief executive had considered cutting the drug business in half, with one unit focused on brand-name drugs and the other dedicated to drugs that do not have patent protection. “Pfizer does still very much seem to be contemplating this possibility, but no firm decision has been made yet,” Bernstein analyst Tim Anderson wrote after the call, in a note seen by the publication…