Pfizer-Sanofi match not made in heaven?

Say the Pfizer/Sanofi-Aventis rumors are true: Would merging with the French drug maker boost Pfizer's fortunes? Not so much, say some observers.

The two companies do have some strengths in common--particularly their cardiovascular and central nervous system products. But they also share weaknesses. Some of their major patents would expire in tandem, for instance; Pfizer's blockbuster Lipitor goes off patent in 2012, and 2011 is D-Day for Sanofi-Aventis' Plavix (which it markets along with Bristol-Myers Squibb). So they also share a need for new big-selling products. And really--would the French easily relinquish one of their business jewels to American sway?

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