Osborne favours Pfizer deal


Osborne 1British Chancellor George Osborne says he will take a “hard-nosed approach” to determine whether Pfizer’s proposed £60bn takeover of UK firm AstraZeneca will deliver for UK jobs and science.

George Osborne added that it would be “extraordinary” not to engage with US pharmaceutical giant.

Pfizer’s chairman Ian Read says the proposal is a “win-win for society”.

Labour said the firm’s promises regarding the proposed deal were “not worth the paper they are written on”.

Some fear the currently-rejected deal could jeopardise Britain’s science and medical industries.

Meanwhile, the Society of Biology, Biochemical Society, British Pharmacological Society and Royal Society of Chemistry  have warned that recent mergers and acquisitions have led to lab closures, threatening the research base.

AstraZeneca has eight sites in the UK and about 6,700 employees.