India's Glenmark eyes fight for U.S. birth-control market

Watch out, oral contraceptive makers. India's Glenmark Pharma is targeting you. The third-largest Indian generics maker in the U.S., Glenmark launched one birth-control pill this month and has 10 more awaiting FDA approval--with plans to develop still more. "We have built up a strong product pipeline for the U.S. oral contraceptives market, which is evident from 10 pending ANDAs approvals," Glenmark Generics chief Terrance Coughlin told the Hindustan Times, "and we will strengthen it further."

Right now, the market for generic birth-control pills is dominated by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Watson Pharmaceuticals; Teva in particular has been quite aggressive in copying leading contraceptives from branded drugmakers such as Bayer. The Israeli company recently broke a deal to postpone its version of Bayer's Yaz till 2011, by going ahead with a launch of the product, called Gianvi.

Copycat contraceptive makers have been in the catbird seat in the U.S., one pharma analyst tells the paper: "They have been enjoying very high operating margins and maintaining high profitability primarily because of no competition from Indian manufacturers." Glenmark now aims to change all that. We'll have to wait and see how it goes.

- read the Times piece