Pfizer Inversion Infuriates Politicians; Trigger Tax Fix Needs?
This article was originally published in Scrip
Pfizer Inc. CEO Ian Read on Nov. 23 insisted his company's decision to merge with Ireland-based Allergan PLC under a $160bn deal – the largest ever among biopharmaceutical firms – was not being done "simply as a tax transaction," even though the New York big pharma would be cutting its tax rate significantly, from about 25% to 17% to 18%.
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Tens of billions would go to fund R&D, including Phase I and Phase II development of vaccines. But the plan would also crack down on inversions and offshoring.
With new funding in hand, Moderna and its infectious disease venture Valera are going full-speed ahead with a Zika vaccine, taking an mRNA approach, which they said could be a more rapid strategy to try to stop the disease.
Allergan CEO Brent Saunders vows not to engage in price gouging and says his firm will limit cost increases to single-digit percentages, occurring only once per year. But it's unclear whether Saunders will stand as a lone wolf in the industry or if others will make similar pledges.