New plants in Middle East a testament to the region's emerging market status

The Persian Gulf is the newest emerging market for Big Pharma, the Wall Street Journal reports. Drugmakers have jumped on that opportunity, as evidenced by the number of new plants and distribution facilities they are putting there. Sanofi ($SNY), Merck KGaA's Serono division, Merck & Co. ($MRK), Novo Nordisk ($NVO), Eli Lilly ($LLY) and Bayer all have projects of one kind or another underway in Middle East countries. Merck KGaA has turned to Neopharma, a domestic drugmaker in the U.A.E., as a manufacturing partner and recently started turning out the standard diabetes treatment metformin there. U.S.-based Merck & Co. joined a venture to build a $93 million insulin plant in Bahrain, to start production in 2015. Pfizer ($PFE) is erecting a plant in Saudi Arabia which is slated to produce a number of its drugs starting in 2015. Story (sub. req.) | More