Bristol-Myers Squibb in Talks to Buy DuPont’s Pharmaceutical Branch, Would Gain AIDS Drug as a Result
Drug giant Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. is "close to buying" the pharmaceutical business of DuPont Co., a deal that would give Bristol-Myers a greater arsenal of anti-AIDS drugs, the New York Times reports. DuPont's top-selling drug last year was Sustiva, a "widely used" component of some triple-drug antiretroviral combinations used to treat individuals with HIV. Bristol-Myers sells the anti-AIDS drugs Zerit and Videx, also used in triple-drug combinations, and is researching new AIDS medicines to add to its lineup (New York Times, 6/7). DuPont also is developing three new AIDS drugs. The AP/Baltimore Sun reports that according to the Wall Street Journal, the two companies were negotiating a purchase price of $7.5 billion to $8 billion.
Path to a Monopoly?
AIDS activists expressed concern over the possible acquisition, stating that it "could stifle competition among makers of the expensive" anti-AIDS drugs and result in higher prices. "We need more competition, not less. We don't want any more concentration of the people who make AIDS drugs because it will just wipe out price competition," Jamie Love, director of the Consumer Project on Technology, said. Love said he plans to file a formal protest with the Federal Trade Commission if the two companies make a deal (AP/Baltimore Sun, 6/7).