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Pfizer completes acquisition of injectable drugmaker Hospira

Pfizer said it has completed its acquisition of Lake Forest-based Hospira. | AP file photo

NEW YORK — The drugmaker Pfizer says it has completed its roughly $15 billion purchase of Lake Forest-based Hospira, a maker of injectable drugs and infusion devices, expanding its product offerings in a growing medical market.

The deal, first announced in February, gives Pfizer a leading position in the global market for injectable drugs, including a new class of lower-cost biotech drugs known as biosimilars. Earlier this year the Food and Drug Administration approved the first biosimilar for the U.S. market, a cheaper version of Amgen’s anti-infection drug Neupogen.

Hospira already markets several biosimilar drugs in Europe and Australia. For decades, biotech drugs faced no generic competition in the U.S. because the FDA lacked a system for approving lower-cost versions.

Global sales of biosimilars are expected to reach $20 billion by 2020, according to Pfizer. The company predicts the combination with Hospira will generate $800 million in cost savings by 2018.

New York-based Pfizer Inc. makes the arthritis pill Celebrex, Prevnar pneumococcal vaccines and the fibromyalgia drug Lyrica.