Updated on 14 May 2012
Pharmaceutical companies are looking at new strategies to overcome the challenges of an impending patent cliff, declining R&D productivity, profit erosion and price pressure. "The need of the hour is to capitalize on Asia as a source of growth and innovation for pharmaceutical companies to narrow the gap in their pipeline. This can be done by understanding the market trends in Asia, the need of the industry and by getting closer to local players," says Dr Anders Ekblom, head of Science and Technology Integration Office, AstraZeneca.
Product diversification into diagnostics and devices and reducing costs in R&D and marketing are also strategies to balance profit erosion. Another trend in recent past has been partnerships for local manufacturing, such as between Roche and Emcure (India) for Herceptin, and Pfizer and Hisun (China) for APIs.
In similar tie-ups, Novartis and USV (India) are doing joint marketing for Galvus, and MSD and Sun Pharma (India) are doing it for Januvia. Some MNCs have also entered into licensing agreements with regional players, such as GSK and Dr Reddy's Laboratories, and Pfizer and Aurobindo Pharma. Merck and WuXi (China) have partnered for research services and Biogen and Samsung (Korea) have agreed on co-development.
The emerging markets are brushing up their potential to invite pharma companies to join hand with them amid all the challenges. India and China have over 150 USFDA-approved plants, and Korea and India have the largest biologics manufacturing capacities outside the US.