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MSD sells interest in joint venture to J&J

Johnson & Johnson has acquired MSD's 50 per cent share in the two pharmaceutical companies' OTC joint venture for $175m

MSD, known as Merck in the US and Canada, has sold its 50 per cent interest in an over-the-counter (OTC) joint venture with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) for $175m.

J&J will now take full ownership of the venture, formed in 1989 to develop, manufacture and market OTC products in the US and Canada.

Following the transaction, J&J will obtain exclusive rights to market OTC Pepcid (famotidine), Mylicon (simethicone) and other OTC products in the US and Canada. The company will also take full control of a manufacturing facility in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

MSD said it sold its interest to focus on building its consumer products division acquired in the company's purchase of Schering-Plough in 2009.

MSD  also said it is looking to 'exploit' its pipeline of prescription to OTC switches, and is increasing OTC licensing activities in the US and Canada.

29th September 2011

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