Astellas Pharma, Japan’s third-largest drugmaker born from the marriage of Fujisawa and Yamanouchi in April last year, is considering shedding its over-the-counter drug unit, Zepharma, in order to focus operations on its high-margin prescription medicines, according to Japanese daily newspaper, Yomiuri.

Potential suitors reportedly include OTC drug heavyweight Taisho Pharmaceutical as well as Japan’s leading drugmaker, Takeda Pharmaceutical, although this remains unconfirmed, and the paper cited no sources.

“We have said we would consider ways to maximise the value of our non-prescription drug businesses. But we have not said anything specific about what we would do with the OTC business,” stated a spokesman for Astellas, as quoted by Reuters..