In one of the more unusual deals so far this year in the pharmaceutical industry, Pfizer (PFE) will merge its so-called off-patent drugs business with Mylan (MYL), one of the largest purveyors of generics, and create a worldwide seller of lower-priced medicines.

The move comes after Pfizer spent six years going back and forth about splitting its businesses in hopes of “unlocking” the true value of its assets, which now include several well-known medicines that have lost patent protection and, consequently, generate declining sales. These include the Viagra impotence pill, the Lyrica painkiller, and the Lipitor cholesterol-lowering drug.

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