Shareholders OK major pharma merger

    Merck and Schering-Plough receive overwhelming support to combine

    Shareholders gave their blessing today to Merck and Schering-Plough’s proposed merger. Both pharmaceutical companies have their US headquarters in New Jersey, and Merck has facilities in Pennsylvania. Their most popular medications include Zetia, Vytorin, Singulair and Nasonex.

    The vote comes just weeks after shareholders of Wyeth approved the company’s takeover by Pfizer. Analysts point to a loss of patent protection and shrinking pipelines for drugs as the impetus for the mergers. Several thousand jobs will likely be lost in the transitions. Federal regulators will have to give their approval before the deals can go through.

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