Pfizer, Glaxo to Combine Consumer-Health Businesses

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Pfizer Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline PLC plan to combine their consumer-health units, and eventually spin the joint venture off—creating a global giant selling drugstore staples like Advil and Sensodyne toothpaste.

The deal represents a surprise ending to a monthslong process by Pfizer to shed its consumer business, as it and other big pharmaceuticals focus more heavily on their higher-margin prescription-drug units. GlaxoSmithKline has been pursuing the same focus, though has until now stayed committed to its consumer health division,…

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