"A combination of these two U.S. pharmaceutical giants would redraw the boundaries of the global drug industry, which has suffered from flagging product development and high fixed costs. It would also represent a high-stakes gambit for Pfizer, which has been stung in the past by expensive acquisitions.

"The two sides have been in discussions for months and a deal isn't imminent, the people said"

Separately, Bloomberg reports that "Andrew Witty, GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s new chief executive officer, is hunting for his next deal, and it won’t be a mega-merger.

"The 44-year-old CEO, known for being calm and direct, says his strategy is clear. Adding more vaccines, drugs and consumer products will help wean Glaxo off its reliance on one or two bestsellers, he said. A large merger or acquisition would threaten to disrupt the company's own revamped drug research and development operations, Witty said"

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