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Pfizer to buy Hospira for $15 billion to bolster hospital products

Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) said it would buy Hospira Inc (HSP.N) for about $15 billion to boost its portfolio of generic injectable drugs and copies of biotech medicines.

Pfizer is known for prescription medicines like impotence treatment Viagra and Lyrica for nerve pain, but many of its biggest brands, including cholesterol treatment Lipitor and painkiller Celebrex, have lost patent protection and are facing cheaper generics. The company needs new products to keep its earnings growing.

Hospira makes generic versions of injectable drugs that are widely used in hospitals, through vials, syringes and bags, as well as pumps used to deliver them and other fluids. It also sells several biosimilars, or copies of biotech drugs, overseas and has others in development.

Pfizer offered $90 per share in cash, a 39 percent premium to Hospira's closing stock price on Wednesday. Hospira shares soared 35 percent to nearly $88 on Thursday, while Pfizer was up 2.7 percent at $32.93.

Is it a good choice for Pfizer?