Pfizer Completes Acquisition of Injectable Drugmaker Hospira

NEW YORK (AP) -

The drugmaker Pfizer says it has completed its roughly $15 billion purchase of the injectable drugmaker and infusion device maker Hospira, expanding its product offerings in a growing medical market.

The deal, first announced in February, gives Pfizer a leading position in the global market for injectable drugs, including a new class of lower-cost biotech drugs known as biosimilars. Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first biosimilar for the U.S. market, a cheaper version of Amgen’s anti-infection drug Neupogen.

Hospira, based in Lake Forest, Illinois, already markets several biosimilar drugs in Europe and Australia. For decades, biotech drugs faced no generic competition in the U.S. because the FDA lacked a system for approving lower-cost versions.

Global sales of biosimilars are expected to reach $20 billion by 2020, according to Pfizer. The company predicts the combination with Hospira will generate $800 million in cost savings by 2018.

New York-based Pfizer Inc. makes the arthritis pill Celebrex, Prevnar pneumococcal vaccines and the fibromyalgia drug Lyrica.

In trading Thursday afternoon, Pfizer shares were down 8 cents to $31.89. The shares are up 8.5 percent over the past year.