This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet
Merck locks into omeprazole proton pump inhibitor family profits until 2017 under a renegotiated joint venture agreement with Astra, the company announces June 19. Merck will continue to receive revenues from the PPI, both Rx and OTC, and the potential Rx successor perprazole through 2017 if sales meet a minimum threshold. Astra Merck announced plans for an OTC switch of omeprazole for heartburn Dec. 15 under a marketing deal with Procter & Gamble ("The Tan Sheet" Dec. 23, 1997, p. 2). Astra and Merck currently share profits equally from all joint venture sales, including Prilosec. Under the renegotiated deal, Merck and Astra Merck USA will be merged into one company, Astra Pharmaceuticals, under the operational control of Astra. Merck will receive a $1.4 bil. cash loan from Astra at the close of the restructuring, targeted for July 1. Astra has the option to buy out Merck's share after 2008, excluding Prilosec and perprazole...