Dr. Reddy's eyes acquisitions in Russia

India's Dr. Reddy's Laboratories plans to go shopping in Russia. The generics specialist wants to expand its portfolio of over-the-counter drugs in that country to 40% to 45%, up from about a third, Dow Jones reports. To achieve that, it's considering buying OTC brands in Russia--and, thanks to new government policies favoring local production, it's also looking at acquiring a domestic drugmaker.

Dr. Reddy's doesn't currently have a manufacturing facility in Russia, and that could become a liability. Russian officials are aiming to grow local pharma sales to half of the country's drugmaking revenues by 2020. So the company may buy either a drug manufacturer or a manufacturing plant, or even set up a production plant of its own, CFO Umang Vohra said, according to Dow Jones.

Russia is one of the world's fastest-growing drug markets--and one of IMS Health's 7 "pharmerging" countries. These countries are attracting a lot of interest from Big Pharma and smaller drugmakers alike. And Dr. Reddy's has already seen the promise of Russian growth. The company's sales in Russia and the region grew by 18% during the most recent quarter, as Dow Jones notes. That's faster than sales growth in North America, which remains the company's biggest market--at least for now.

- read the Dow Jones piece