Schering-Plough Shareholders Support Merck Acquisition

More than 99 percent of shareholders of drugmaker Schering-Plough support being bought by bigger New Jersey neighbor Merck. The acquisition would make Merck the world's second-biggest drug maker by prescription medicine sales, just behind Pfizer. Barbara Ryan, a pharmaceutical industry analyst with Deutsche Bank, says the merger can help the companies reduce expenses – and compensate for a lack of new blockbuster drugs.

RYAN: Merck specifically would face a significant hole in its earnings in 2013 when it’s scheduled to lose exclusivity for one of their biggest drugs, Singulair.

Singulair is used to treat asthma and allergies. Ryan says many pharmaceutical companies are in a similar position of seeing their drugs go generic, setting off a large wave of acquisitions.