WATSON PHARMACEUTICALS TO BUY ANDRX CORP

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0,0

Two more generic drug companiesare planning to join forces. WatsonPharmaceuticals Inc (Corona, Calif) hasagreed to buy smaller rival companyAndrx Corp (Davie, Fla) for $1.9 billion incash. The deal is expected to close withinthe next 6 months.

Allen Chao, PhD, chairman and chiefexecutive officer at Watson, hailed themerger as an opportunity to increase thenumber of medicines Watson has underdevelopment, add on a drug-distributionbusiness, and boost profits starting atthe beginning of 2007. "This deal willmake Watson a much stronger companyand position us for growth," with a totalof 60 drugs in the pipeline, Dr. Chao said.

When the deal closes, Watson willbecome the third-largest supplier ofgeneric drugs in the United States, followingTeva Pharmaceutical IndustriesLtd (Israel) and Mylan Laboratories Inc(Canonsburg, Pa).Watson also will benefitfrom Andrx's expertise in developingcontrolled-release drugs. In addition,the merger will increase Watson'spresence in a year when many blockbusterbrand name drugs will lose theirpatent protection and become availableto the generic market.