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Mylan, Upjohn get conditional European Commission OK for merger into Viatris

MORGANTOWN — Mylan expressed its pleasure on Wednesday that the European Commission has granted conditional approval to it plan to merge with Pfizer subsidiary Upjohn to create a new company called Viatris.

The EC department in charge of European Union policy on competition announced the approval on Wednesday, conditional on Mylan divesting certain generic medicines in 20 countries where Mylan’s and Upjohn’s markets for those products overlap and the merger could stifle competition.

“We are pleased to receive the European Commission’s approval,” Mylan said. “We appreciate the opportunity to have worked collaboratively with the EC on this approval, and the scale and scope of these required product divestitures are substantially in line with Mylan’s previously stated expectations. This is a significant milestone, and we are committed to fully satisfy the EU’s conditions, and expect to have the divestitures complete by the timely close in the second half of 2020.”

Upjohn is based in China and handles Pfizer’s off-patent branded and generic products, including Viagra, Xanax and Lipitor, a cholesterol medication. Mylan is headquartered in the Netherlands.

EC’s Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, responsible for competition policy, said: “Ensuring that patients and hospitals have access to medicines at fair and competitive prices, as well as ensuring security of supply, is always a key priority which resonates even more strongly in the current challenging context. Our decision ensures that the merger between Mylan and Upjohn does not harm competition, thus preserving competitive access to certain genericised medicines for national health services and European citizens”.

The EC announcement offers the full list of products Mylan will be divesting. Among them, it will sell off its interests in alprazolam – generic Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication – in Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy and Portugal.

Pfizer/Upjohn had not issued a comment at the time of this report.

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