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On the Call: Pfizer CEO Ian Read

During a conference call to discuss drugmaker Pfizer Inc.'s first-quarter results, analysts asked Pfizer management about the chances they will split the New York company in two: an "innovative core" business handling Pfizer's newer medicines and development of future drugs, and a "value business" selling older medicines that are off patent but still sell well, mainly in poorer countries. Some analysts have been urging Pfizer to do this, arguing shareholders would profit more.

Question: If you split the company, given the ramifications for taxes and dividing up manufacturing plants and other sites, how long would this take?

Answer: The first order of business is to find a model on which we can separate them. If we decided that there were further benefits from a split of the businesses — and that decision has not been taken — I believe the earliest we could do that would be '16. We will give you more color on when and how later this year.

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