Tax group blasts Pfizer, urges stop to its tax-cutting deal

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A consumer coalition is accusing drugmaker Pfizer of seeking to avoid $35 billion in U.S. taxes by buying fellow drugmaker Allergan, a deal structured to nominally move Pfizer’s address to lower-tax Ireland, Allergan’s home.

In a report, Americans for Taxpayer Fairness says that would also slash New York-based Pfizer’s future U.S. taxes.

The group also accuses Pfizer of gouging Americans with excessive price hikes on its medicines while benefiting from loopholes and tax deductions that reduce Pfizer’s U.S. tax rate, on average, to 6.4 percent, well below the 24 percent Pfizer has claimed.

At a news conference, the group and several members of Congress said the federal government can and should take steps to block Pfizer’s $160 billion acquisition of Allergan. It’s set to be completed between July and December.

In September, Pfizer paid roughly $15 billion for Lake Forest-based Hospira, a maker of injectable drugs and infusion devices.

Deerfield-based Walgreen was pressured in 2014 to keep its headquarters in the United States after it agreed to buy the remaining stake in Swiss health and beauty retailer Alliance Boots that it didn’t already own.

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