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The $23 Billion Drug Swap

• A set of deals among several leading pharma companies is heightening the rivalry between the world’s top cancer drugmakers. Novartis agreed to buy GlaxoSmithKline’s line of cancer treatments for up to $16 billion, while selling it a vaccine business for as much as $7.1 billion. The deal could boost oncology sales for Novartis by almost 40 percent to $11.2 billion a year by 2018. The Swiss drug giant is No. 2 in market share for cancer drugs after Roche. Novartis and GSK also will combine their over-the-counter units, which make everything from pain relievers to toothpaste. And Novartis is selling its animal health unit to Eli Lilly for $5.4 billion as it seeks a buyer for its flu vaccines.

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