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P&G Exits Drug R&D in Favor of Consumer Healthcare

Executive Summary

Procter & Gamble is moving away from pharmaceuticals to focus on more profitable businesses, such as oral care and consumer healthcare

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A sale of Procter & Gamble's pharma business could fetch more than $1 billion, according to an estimate by one analyst. That's revenue P&G could reinvest in its core business areas, beauty and consumer health care. Reports that P&G's Rx business is up for sale began circulating the week of Feb. 2. Sources say the company has indeed hired Goldman Sachs to facilitate a sale of the business, although P&G dismissed the reports as "total speculation." News of a potential sale hardly comes as a surprise after P&G announced in December that the company was halting investment in pharmaceuticals and reducing headcount in its 2,900-person pharmaceutical workforce by 6 percent to 7 percent to focus on more profitable businesses, including oral care and consumer health care (1"The Pink Sheet," Dec. 22, 2008, p. 9). Potential buyers could include P&G's existing partners: Sanofi-Aventis on Actonel and Novartis on Enablex

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