What’s behind the pharmaceutical sector’s M&A push

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There are lessons for other industries in the way pharma companies use mergers to innovate, work more efficiently, and bolster product portfolios.

The passage of US tax reform in late 2017 led to speculation that merger-and-acquisition activity would soon surge among pharmaceutical companies, due in part to tax-cut benefits accruing to sellers. Indeed, that has come to pass: in the first half of 2018, there were 212 deals in the sector worth more than $200 billion, up from 151 such deals in the year-earlier period.1 1.Data are from Dealogic.com. It is important to note that M&A activity as measured by deal value can be volatile and skewed significantly by a single large deal. For instance, the recent announcement of a $62 billion deal between


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