P&G Gets Deeper Into Drugs

The pharmaceutical industry faces troubled times, but that's not stopping Procter & Gamble. The consumer-products giant, already a major force in over-the-counter drugs, long has been interested in building its prescription drug business. On Sept. 28, it agreed to buy an Italian subsidiary of SmithKline Beecham, adding five drugs with sales of $40 million and 125 sales reps. Is a bigger acquisition in the works? Chairman Edwin Artzt sidestepped that question in July.