Falling dollar, falling drugmaker prices

Is the U.S. drug industry bargain-basement land right now? Analysts say that the low, low dollar means low, low prices for pharma companies. Rivals in Asia and the Eurozone could snap up drug companies just like they've bought up Manhattan condos.

Takeda Pharmaceutical agreed to pay $8.8 billion for Millennium Pharmaceuticals--a 15 percent discount, as the dollar has fallen 15 percent against then yen since early 2007. Roche bought Ventana Medical for $3.4 billion--and though the price was higher than what the Swiss drugmaker originally bid, it still represented a double-digit discount because the dollar has sunk against the euro. Other examples, according to Pharmalot: Eisai's buyout of MGI Pharma for $3.9 billion, Novartis' 77 percent-stake acquisition of Alcon for $39 billion, and so on.

In Vivo worries that foreign buyouts might be against the national interest, considering the intellectual property at risk. Some U.S. companies might be able to get Congress to shield them from unwanted foreign takeovers, the blog suggests. Bioterror research, anyone?

- check out the Pharmalot item
- see the coverage from In Vivo

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