The large American drug maker Abbott Laboratories is moving to close a deal today to purchase the prescription drug unit of the Belgian company Solvay for close to $6.6 billion in order to take sole possession of a shared cholesterol drug venture. The deal could possibly pay out an addition $440 million if the product meets certain sales goals from 2011 to 2013.

The deal will also give Abbott sole possession TriCor, which competes with Antara and Lofibra in the highly competitive cholesterol drug market. Last year TriCor had over $1.3 billion in sales.

In addition to TriCor, Abbott will also receive full ownership of Solvay’s drugs for hormone replacement, hypertension, as well as other neurological conditions.

According to the New York Times,

Pending health care legislation in Congress is not considered a deterrent for pharmaceutical acquisitions, because the drug makers are expected to do well in whatever emerges from Washington. The industry has a potentially winning political argument that its drugs prevent disease and save medical costs. And the industry stands to benefit from the addition of tens of millions of Americans to the ranks of the insured, under a health care overhaul.

Abbott’s patent on TriCor is set to expire soon, which means generic, less expensive versions of TriCor will be available. Abbott will then face the challenge of switching consumers over to the new drug Trilipix. This means that Abbott will throw all of it’s marketing behind Trilipix, and try and dupe consumers into buying a medication that is no more affective, yet much more expensive.