Marlboro maker’s takeover of UK ventilator firm Vectura must be stopped, say lung cancer charities
Vectura’s board last week backed a 150p a share offer from Philip Morris International
Ministers are under pressure to block the takeover of respiratory drugs company Vectura by the maker of Marlboro.
The board of the Chippenham-based inhaler specialist, which is developing a Covid treatment, last week backed a 150p a share offer from Philip Morris International (PMI).
But in a growing backlash against the proposed £1billion deal, the chief executives of charities Cancer Research UK, Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership, and Action on Smoking and Health have written to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and Health Secretary Sajid Javid calling on the Government to stop the deal going through.
The letter says: ‘There is a real prospect that PMI will use this acquisition to legitimise tobacco industry participation in health debates within the UK.
‘This must not be allowed to happen,’ they add.
The charity bosses also warn of ‘huge unease that a tobacco company could profit from treatments’ for illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.