(Some shareholders have filed lawsuits attempting to block the deal from going through, but it's not likely to prevent the deal from being finalized.)
Among other drugs, King is the manufacturer of three thyroid medications:
- Levoxyl, brand name synthetic levothyroxine tablets for thyroid hormone replacement
- Cytomel, brand name synthetic liothyronine sodium (T3), for thyroid hormone replacement
- Tapazole, brand name methimazole, an antithyroid drug used to treat hyperthyroidism
On the positive side, Pfizer owning Cytomel, a synthetic T3 drug, may mean more visibility and awareness of use of T3 as an addition to levothyroxine treatment for hypothyroidism, a therapy that recent research has shown to be preferred by a majority of patients.
In general, though, I have to wonder if this is good news for thyroid patients. Pfizer is regularly embroiled in controversy, and has, over the past decade, tangled with the Department of Justice multiple times, pleading guilty to fraud for illegal marketing of its drugs and other health frauds. And thyroid patients already have to contend with Synthroid's manufacturer and thyroid drug juggernaut Abbott Labs, the company that wields undue marketing influence over professional thyroid organizations and endocrinologists. And of course, thyroid patients have had many years of problems with Forest Labs, maker of Armour, Thyrolar and Levothroid. In addition to product problems, availability issues, and backorders of their thyroid drugs, Forest is frequently in the news due to numerous allegations of fraud and illegal marketing. And we can't forget Genzyme, maker of Thyrogen, which has been under investigation for serious problems with quality control and product contamination that pose a danger to thyroid patients.
Do you think that Pfizer buying King -- and taking over ownership of Levoxyl, Cytomel and Tapazole, will be good or bad for thyroid patients? Take our poll now.