Merck, Schering Merger Puts Pressure On Regulators

By Jacqueline Bell (March 9, 2009, 12:00 AM EDT) -- Merck & Co.'s plan to merge with Schering-Plough Corp. in a $41.1 billion deal announced Monday is prompting questions over how antitrust regulators will tackle the second proposal in as many months to combine two pharmaceutical industry giants.

The Merck and Schering deal comes just six weeks after Pfizer Inc. revealed its own plans to take over Wyeth Inc. in a deal valued at $68 billion.

Many U.S. drugmakers are facing patent expirations of a number of their blockbuster drugs in the next few years, and there are few replacement drugs in the research and development pipeline ready to take their...

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