HEARTBURN HEALER: AstraZeneca has sold fellow drugmaker Pfizer the global rights to market a nonprescription version of heartburn drug Nexium, which has annual sales of nearly $8 billlion, starting in 2014. Pfizer must first get regulatory approval.
THE TERMS: Pfizer is to pay $250 million upfront, then royalty and other payments based on product launches and sales. Pfizer lowered its 2012 earnings-per-share forecast by 2 cents; AstraZeneca raised its forecast by 16 cents.
THE STRATEGY: The deal helps Pfizer boost its consumer health business and the two companies will consider similar deals covering other AstraZeneca prescription drugs with patents expiring.