(AP) Drugmakers AstraZeneca and Pfizer have a deal giving Pfizer future rights to sell a nonprescription version of AstraZeneca's blockbuster heartburn drug, Nexium.
Pfizer must first win approval from the Food and Drug Administration and regulators in other countries to sell nonprescription Nexium. The drug, which reduces excess stomach acid to treat ulcers and acid reflux disease, is known chemically as esomeprazole (eh-SO'-meh-preh-zohl).
Pfizer said that if it wins approval, it could launch over-the-counter Nexium in the U.S. in 2014. The drug's patent is slated to expire here that spring. Pfizer plans to begin selling the product in other countries after that.
Pfizer will pay AstraZeneca $250 million upfront and royalty and other payments based on product sales. Both companies adjusted their 2012 financial forecasts due to the deal.