Shareholders okay Wyeth's sale

    Analysts say a merger this size will have a major impact on products and jobs.

    Shareholders of the pharmaceutical company Wyeth sealed their fate yesterday with a vote approving the company’s sale to Pfizer. Analysts say a merger this size will have a major impact on products and jobs.

    Listen: [audio:090721kgwyeth.mp3]

    Pfizer and Wyeth are some of the largest drug companies in the world. Together they employ the same number of people as the populations of Camden and Wilmington – combined. Saint Joseph’s professor George Sillup used to work at Wyeth. He says the merger has its pros and cons.

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    Sillup: It’s so huge there’s got to be a major play. On one side you say it’s going to be a larger more powerful entity. On the other side there has to be a lot of fallout from that.

    That fallout being potentially thousands of jobs lost, says Sillup. He says employees have mixed attitudes toward the merger.

    Sillup: Some are looking forward to a bright future with one of the largest most pre-eminent powers in the pharmaceutical industry…Those who have a longer residency within a corporation on the other end of the spectrum, much more reticent. And somewhat feeling somewhat disenfranchised.

    Daniel Ruppar, an industry analyst, expects that the merger will help shore up Pfizer’s product line at a time when some of its mega-selling brand name drugs, such as Lipitor, are losing patent protection.

    Ruppar: I think it can benefit them from maybe expertise in some of the areas that Wyeth can bring to bear that is going to be key to disease treatment and drug development in the future. especially more interest in some of the biotechnology product expertise, vaccines.

    The deal will cost 68 billion dollars.

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