Novartis targets 'critical mass' in $660M OTC drug buyout

Novartis is acquiring a package of North American over-the-counter drugs -- including Excedrin, No-Doz and Comtrex -- from Bristol-Myers Squibb for $660 million. The news quickly sparked cheers from analysts, who saw the buyout as a good move for the Swiss drug giant. Novartis, already one of the largest OTC manufacturers in the world, said the move would give it greater "critical mass" in the North American market. Novartis announced on Thursday that its net profit in the first six months of the year was up 12 percent.

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