Solvay purchase good for Abbott

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TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: 2009 may have been a slow year for mergers and acquisitions, but not in the pharmaceutical industry. This morning, news of yet another big drug company deal. From New York, here's Marketplace's Alisa Roth.


Alisa Roth: Abbott Laboratories says it will pay almost $7 billion for the pharmaceutical unit of Solvay, a Belgian company. It'll give Abbott some new drugs for high blood pressure and Parkinson's Disease, plus two cholesterol drugs Abbott and Solvay had been selling together.

Solvay has also been working on a vaccine against swine flu, so this might be a way for Abbott to get in on that business, which everybody thinks will be big. Analysts have said Abbott needed to find ways to diversify, because about 15 percent of its profits come from one drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

There's been a lot of consolidation in the pharmaceutical industry lately. Pfizer, Merck and Roche have all spent tens of billions of dollars this year to buy other companies.

In New York, I'm Alisa Roth for Marketplace.

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