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Merck Buys Schering-Plough -- and Time

Executive Summary

Merck's acquisition of Schering-Plough is all about buying breathing room, relief from what looks to be a 4-year, 50% earnings decline as key products go generic. Moreover, the relief comes relatively inexpensively (unless J&J steps in with a counteroffer), a fact that reflects Schering's lack of strategic options. In this interview, Merck's R&D boss Peter Kim and chief strategist, Mervyn Turner, explain the key pipeline and marketing complementarities and cost-cutting possibilities which prompted the deal -- and how they plan to integrate the two businesses.

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