Astra Is Burning Hotter In America

Swedish drugmaker Astra has plenty to boast about. It recently won the right to buy a 50% stake in a promising U.S. venture with Merck & Co. Its antiulcer drug, Losec, is poised to expand its share of the $8.4 billion global market for such medications as a result of favorable new clinical studies. And at a time when drug company margins are shrinking, Astra on Nov. 12 reported that its pretax profits for the first nine months of 1993 soared 69%. "We're trying to stay humble," says CEO H akan Mogren.

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