BERLIN (AP) _ German chemical and drug maker Bayer AG announced Monday it has entered a strategic alliance with the Schering-Plough Corp. that will have the New Jersey-based company market and distribute Bayer's primary care pharmaceutical products in the United States and Puerto Rico.
The alliance will affect some 1,800 U.S.-based Bayer primary care sales and marketing positions, ``either through transfer to Schering-Plough or through reductions,'' the Leverkusen-based company said in a statement.
Bayer HealthCare will, at the same time, build up a new U.S.-based global oncology business unit and refocus its U.S. organization on high-profit specialty and biotech products to form Bayer HealthCare's Specialty Pharmaceuticals business, the company said.
``The alliance with Schering-Plough will take advantage of the regional strengths of both companies,'' Bayer board chairman Werner Wenning said.
Bayer products such as antibiotics Avelox and Cipro, the cardiovascular product Adalat and some other smaller established primary care Bayer products will be affected by the agreement, but will remain the property of Bayer and continue to be sold under the Bayer brand name. Schering-Plough, based in Kenilworth, New Jersey, will pay a royalty to the German company on net sales of the products.
Schering-Plough will also undertake on Bayer's behalf the U.S. commercialization activities for the erectile dysfunction drug Levitra, which is marketed under a co-promotion agreement with GlaxoSmithKline.
Bayer and Schering-Plough will share Bayer's portion of the U.S. sales profits of Levitra in exchange for Schering-Plough's promotion of the drug.
The agreements are expected to become effective on Oct. 1.