U.S. Markets closed

Pfizer to split into three units, separates consumer healthcare

FILE PHOTO: The Pfizer logo is seen at their world headquarters in New York April 28, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

(Reuters) - Pfizer Inc said on Wednesday it would reorganize into three units, separating its consumer healthcare business that the U.S. drugmaker has been trying to sell since last year.

The news comes a day after the company decided to defer drug price increases for no more than six months, following criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump for raising list prices of some medicines.

The units would be Innovative Medicines, Established Medicines and Consumer Healthcare. The company is currently split into two units - Innovative Medicines, which includes the consumer business, and Essential Health.

"This design gives us a sharper focus on diverse patients in diverse markets," Albert Bourla, chief operating officer said.

The Innovative Medicines business will now also include biosimilars and a new hospital business unit, and together with the Consumer Healthcare business, will account for about three-quarters of the company's revenue. Pfizer's 2017 annual revenue was $52.55 billion.

Pfizer said it would still evaluate options for its consumer healthcare business and expects to make a decision in 2018.

The company said in October last year that it was considering the sale or spin-off of the consumer healthcare business, which is worth about $15 billion. In May, Pfizer said that it had not received an acceptable offer.

The business consists of products ranging from Advil to lip balms.

The Established Medicines unit would include the majority of the company's off-patent brands, including Viagra and neurological disease treatment Lyrica as well as some generic drugs.

The changes would be effective at the start of fiscal 2019.

Pfizer shares were flat at $37.40 in premarket trading.


(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Sweta Singh)