Pharma M&A: 10 years, 1,345 deals, $694B

It's been a busy decade for pharma dealmaking. During the 10 years that ended Dec. 31, 2009, a total of 1,345 mergers and acquisitions of pharmaceutical assets and companies were announced, with disclosed prices totaling more than $694 billion, according to

The biggest deal: GlaxoWellcome's $74 billion merger with SmithKline Beecham in 2000 that created GlaxoSmithKline. That year, pharma did more than $97 billion worth of deals.

But the biggest dealmaking year of all--to no one's surprise--was last year. In 2009, drugmakers' deals amounted to $147.2 billion, Levin Associates calculates. That, of course, includes Pfizer's $68 billion deal for Wyeth and Merck's $41 billion deal with Schering-Plough.

The deals encompass generics buyouts--Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' $8.96 billion buyout of Barr Pharmaceuticals and $7.96 billion deal for Ivax, for instance. Then there's consumer healthcare: Johnson & Johnson bought Pfizer's consumer unit in 2006 for $16.6 billion. And there are those megadeals that created the Big Pharma we know today: That GSK merger above, for instance, or Sanofi-Synthelabo's $65.6 billion acquisition of Aventis in 2004. Or Bayer's $21.5 billion deal for Schering in 2006. We could go on and on.

- read the release from Irving Levin