Pfizer's UK distribution spawns backlash

Little did Pfizer know what it was getting into when it signed an exclusive distribution deal with UniChem in the UK. The U.S.-based drug maker thought the deal would help it better control supplies, reduce its wholesale discount, and build relationships with pharmacies.

But that deal proved so attractive, it's spawned a wave of similar arrangements by other drug makers. It's prompted all sorts of worrisome talk from distributors and pharmacies. It's attracted an investigation from the government's Office of Fair Trading. And it may figure into negotiations on the British Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme, under which drug makers set prices with the country's Department of Health.

- check out the analysis of the Pfizer deal's effects