Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Pfizer Drops $119 Billion Bid For AstraZeneca

The blue pills are Pfizer's impotence remedy Viagra.
William Vazquez

It would have been the biggest deal the pharmaceutical industry has seen in more than a decade. But for now, it's off the table.

Pfizer has withdrawn its offer to buy British drug company AstraZeneca for about $119 billion.

American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which makes Lipitor and Viagra, has been circling its smaller rival AstraZeneca for months.

AstraZeneca, which makes Nexium and Crestor, has rejected every offer saying Pfizer undervalues the company, and that it wants to remain independent.

There were fears that jobs and research facilities in the UK would be lost.

Had the deal gone through, Pfizer could have reincorporated in Britain and taken advantage of lower taxes.

Inversions as they're called, annoy members of Congress who say they erode the U.S. corporate tax base.

Both companies face stiff competition in the future as more and more people turn to less expensive, generic drugs.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Elizabeth Blair is a Peabody Award-winning senior producer/reporter on the Arts Desk of NPR News.
To make informed decisions, the public must receive unbiased truth.

As Southwestern Pennsylvania’s only independent public radio news and information station, we give voice to provocative ideas that foster a vibrant, informed, diverse and caring community.

WESA is primarily funded by listener contributions. Your financial support comes with no strings attached. It is free from commercial or political influence…that’s what makes WESA a free vital community resource. Your support funds important local journalism by WESA and NPR national reporters.

You give what you can, and you get news you can trust.
Please give now to continue providing fact-based journalism — a monthly gift of just $5 or $10 makes a big difference.