Consumer market researcher and publisher VNU today announced plans to buy prescription drug sales data provider IMS Health for $6.9 billion in cash and stock. The merger is scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2006.
The deal will make VNU the world's largest provider of data on prescriptions and drug use and add the healthcare market to VNU's Nielsen media and AC Nielsen consumer goods market intelligence. VNU is also the owner of PERQ/HCI Research, a division that tracks healthcare journal advertising spending
IMS, which monitors information on prescription drug sales globally, recorded total sales of $1.6 billion in 2004.