Pfizer boosts consumer ops with Ferrosan deal

Now that it has re-entered the consumer healthcare business, Pfizer is looking to grow. The company bought the Danish company Ferrosan, which specializes in dietary supplements and lifestyle products, adding to the consumer unit it bought along with Wyeth in their 2009 merger.

Ferrosan has a strong presence in the Nordic countries, but also operates in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Turkey and other European countries. The company's products include Multi-tabs multivitamins and Fri Flyt/Active Omega, and Pfizer sees the buy as an opportunity to marry those lines with its own multivitamin brand Centrum and its calcium and vitamin D brand Caltrate.

Ferrosan "is an excellent strategic fit that strengthens our presence in dietary supplements," Pfizer Consumer Healthcare chief Paul Sturman said, adding that the deal will give Pfizer "greater distribution and scale" as well.

Consumer healthcare has been a hot area for drugmakers trying to diversify beyond prescription drugs, hedging against sales lost to generic competition. The Ferrosan deal has the added bonus of distribution in Russia, one of the emerging markets pharma is targeting for big growth.

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