Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Elanco, Novartis now together

Eli Lilly, owner of Elanco, has bought the animal health division of Novartis for about $6 billion.

The deal vaults Elanco from fourth to second spot in the global market. Zoetis, spun off from Pfizer last year, is the biggest.

About 40 per cent of the sales are for pets, 60 per cent for livestock and poultry.

Elanco bought Lohmann Animal Health of Germany last year, giving it access to the poultry markets. The Novartis deal will add fish farming.

Elanco’s sales have doubled since 2007.

Elanco's profit margins also shot up last year, leaving us wondering how high they will go after this deal. Let's hope they do it only on the pet side of the business and leave farmers alone.

Novartis made another deal with GlaxoSmithKline of England, buying its cancer medications division and selling its vaccine business. 

And according to a column in today's Globe and Mail, the drug companies are now diverting money from research and development to mergers and acquisitions. 

Great for the public's health, eh?  Not to mention our pocketbooks.

I say get rid of patents on drugs and medicines, return to having research done via direct government funding and then all advances would be shared quickly and efficiently so progress would improve.

And do the same for agriculture, especially for plant, livestock and poultry breeding. No patents!