Little Retail Impact Seen From Pfizer Buy

Pfizer's acquisition of Wyeth may shake up the pharmaceutical industry, but executives contacted by SN said it would have little impact on supermarket pharmacy. The definitive merger was reported last week. Pfizer, here, will buy Wyeth, Madison, N.J., in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $50.19 per share, or a total of about $68 billion. Some 8,000 jobs are expected to be eliminated.

NEW YORK — Pfizer's acquisition of Wyeth may shake up the pharmaceutical industry, but executives contacted by SN said it would have little impact on supermarket pharmacy.

The definitive merger was reported last week. Pfizer, here, will buy Wyeth, Madison, N.J., in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $50.19 per share, or a total of about $68 billion. Some 8,000 jobs are expected to be eliminated.

Pfizer is the nation's leading pharmaceutical manufacturer, but Wyeth is stronger in over-the-counter products, as well as vaccines and injectable biologic medicines.

Pharmacy executives were reluctant to speak on the record, but they viewed the deal as a good thing that will create one stronger company.

“Consolidating and strengthening the branded manufacturers that we all need in order to survive is a long-term benefit to the industry,” said a pharmacy executive with a Southeastern chain.

It's too early to determine if pricing will be impacted, he added. Although there will be fewer sales reps in the field, they will have a bigger portfolio, “so the net impact will be minimal,” he said.

“It probably doesn't make a lot of difference to us,” said a veteran pharmacy executive with a major chain. There are few areas where the two companies compete head-to-head, so there will be little impact on pricing, he noted.

On the negative side, “it may limit resources we have for pharmacist education and marketing funds,” he said.