Pfizer may sell consumer unit

Markets Associated Press

Pfizer may be done selling ChapStick, Advil, Robitussin and other brands that people can buy without a prescription.

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The pharmaceutical giant is weighing options for its consumer healthcare business. It may spin off or sell the unit, which also produces Advil, Preparation H and the Centrum brand of vitamins. Pfizer may also leave the business as is, with no sale.

The New York drugmaker expects any decisions on the business to be made next year.

Chairman and CEO Ian Read said Tuesday that consumer health products are distinct enough from the company's main biopharmaceutical business that its value might be "more fully realized" outside the company.

The consumer health care unit had revenue of about $3.4 billion last year.

Centerview Partners, Guggenheim Securities and Morgan Stanly are working as financial advisers for the review.

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Pfizer's larger prescription drug business includes the erectile dysfunction treatment Viagra, the breast cancer drug Ibrance and the cholesterol fighter Lipitor. The company booked a $3.07 billion profit in the in the second quarter on $12.9 billion in revenue. The company will report third-quarter results later this month.

Pfizer shares edged up 36 cents to $36.50 in early morning trading, after the drugmaker announced its review.