The pharmaceutical company that has been accused of creating a toxic cocktail of cancer-causing chemicals is buying up health products brands, including ones with an anti-aging benefit, as it tries to woo consumers.
The deal comes as health insurers and consumers wrestle with the issue of cancer, which now kills more than 1 million Americans each year.
The merger is part of a broader effort by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which also has a large stake in the beauty giant Estée Lauder Cosmetics.
The AstraCosmetic merger is worth $2.2 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data, with AstraZeneca buying a 49.5 percent stake in EstéeLauder, the largest shareholder.
The two companies said they would continue to develop, develop and sell a broad portfolio of beauty and wellness products to consumers.
The merger comes as many of the health insurers are under pressure from a growing number of patients who are worried about their health as a result of AstraMedica’s aggressive cancer treatments.
Some of the companies that sell AstraMEDIC products have pulled out of the market, including Estée, which is owned by the family of Eli Broad, a billionaire whose fortune is estimated at $6.2 trillion.
AstraKern has also pulled out, though it is selling its stake in some of its brands, such as AHA and Vitamin C.
The deal, which was announced Thursday, could make AstraKENAS a force in health care.
The AstraSites and AstraCVS are the only AstraVENas in the U.S., and they have the highest concentration of consumers in the country, according the company’s CEO, Joseph Soderberg.
But the merger may also spark backlash from some health insurers.
The insurance companies that are among the largest players in the health care industry are also among the biggest spenders on the drugs that Astra MEDIC sells.
Their executives have long argued that Astrapax is an effective cancer treatment and a way to keep the nation healthier.