Multinational Firms Stake Claims - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Multinational Firms Stake Claims
This article is part of a Special Report on the Emerging Markets of The East, October 2009

Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 33, Issue 10

Specialty pharmaceutical company Nycomed (Zurich, Switzerland) recently expanded its product portfolio by purchasing 20 branded generic products, including several betablockers and the profitable Hypnogen (Zolpidem), from sanofi aventis and Zentiva in several CEE countries this past August. Pleased with its activity in Russia and the CIS region since the mid-1980s, Nycomed is now turning to Eastern Europe. The markets in that region "sustain solid growth as increased spending power continues to translate into demand for pharmaceuticals," explains a Nycomed spokeswoman. "Nycomed has shown that it can thrive in such conditions by combining local entrepreneurial activity with strong central support from Nycomed's global brands and European manufacturing network. The strategy has been highly successful in Russia and shows every sign of being just as productive for Eastern Europe." The company's Russia/CIS division had a net turnover of 3.6% to EUR $78.7 million ($112 million) during the first quarter of this year, according to the company's financial statements, and plans to invest EUR $60 million ($85.5 million) into a new manufacturing plant in Russia.

Another specialty firm, Meda Pharmaceuticals (Solna, Sweden), acquired Valeant s (Aliso VIeja, CA) business in Western and Eastern Europe, including Russia, in September 2008. And in June 2008, Mylan (Pittsburgh, PA) acquired Merck KGaA's CEE generic-drug business, including operations in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic.

Even Indian-based companies are staking a claim in CEE. Mumbai's Sun Pharmaceuticals bought ICN Hungary (now known as Alkaloida Chemical Company), a producer of controlled-substance APIs, in 2005. And Strides Polska, a subsidiary of Strides Arcolab (Bangalore), a leader in finished generic drugs, purchased a sterile manufacturing unit from ICN Valeant in Warsaw, Poland, in 2006. "This addition further strengthens Strides' presence in Europe and allows us to focus on developing the Polish operations into a strategic part of our manufacturing network, as well as allowing us to promote our products and services in the 'New Europe,'" said President of Global Manufacturing Paul Moore in a company release.

For more on this topic, see the special report "Emerging Markets of the East" and the online exclusives "CROs and CMOs Go Further East" and "Standard-Setting Bodies Engage Russia"


1. Sandoz Company Information, January 2009,, accessed Sept. 1,2009.

2. S. Sutton, "Pharma Boom in Eastern Europe," ePT, Aug. 27,2009.

3. C. Viehbacher, "The New Strategy for Sanofi-Aventis," transcript from sanofi aventis TV, interview taped Apr. 17, 2009 with EuroBusiness Media,, accessed Sept. 1,2009.

4. Sanofi Aventis, Emerging Markets IR Seminar, July 2, 2009,, accessed Sept. 1,2009.

5. Chairman's Report, Pfizer Annual Review 2008,

6. Pfizer Press Release, "Pfizer Presents New Opportunities for Global Growth," Mar. 5,2008.

7. J. Irish, "Pfizer Eyes Deals to Raise Emerging Markets Presence," Reuters, June 14,2009.

8. GSK Press Release, "GSK's Emerging Markets Strategy Advances With Acquisition in Egypt," Oct. 15,2008.

9. GSK Press Release, "GSK to Drive Growth in Emerging Markets with Acquisition of UCB Products," Jan. 23,2009.


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