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STAT Plus: Consumer groups and unions try again to block the AbbVie and Allergan merger

A coalition of consumer groups and unions hopes to convince the Federal Trade Commission to alter the terms of AbbVie’s (ABBV) proposed $63 billion acquisition of Allergan (AGN) by arguing the deal — as currently conceived — would thwart competition and unfairly maintain higher drug prices for consumers.

In a letter to the agency Tuesday, the coalition contends that allowing Allergan to divest an experimental medicine for treating Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis to AstraZeneca (AZN) would fail to ensure the market for such medicines would be fully competitive. The companies last month proposed to divest the drug, brazikumab, and one other in a bid to satisfy regulatory concerns about the acquisition.

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