Big Pharma continues its march into emerging markets. Chinese newspapers are full of a Novartis expansion push into their country, which is expected to boost employment and lead to--gasp!--a recruitment push for sales reps. And Pfizer said today it would mount a tender offer for Pfizer India stock, seeking to buy another one-third stake in the publicly traded company.
Novartis is ploughing money into its Chinese operations, including R&D and sales and marketing. Joe Jiminez, CEO of Novartis Pharma, wouldn't say exactly how much the company is investing there, only saying that it's "a considerable amount," according to China Daily. The company plans to launch six new products in the country while boosting its clinical research, too.
China recently announced a healthcare reform initiative that would emphasize treatment for chronic disease; that's something Novartis could capitalize upon, too. The newspaper says Novartis intends to "further strengthen its cooperation with the Chinese government and hospitals" in light of that reform package. The upshot? More jobs. Novartis added about 500 to its Chinese workforce in 2008, and it aims to recruit even more this year, the majority of them in sales.
Next, Pfizer: The company now owns some 41 percent of its Indian subsidiary, with the rest publicly traded. The drugmaker wants to boost that stake to 75 percent, in a tender that could be worth about $136 million. The offer is expected to open in June, managed by HSBC Securities in India; it comes in at about an 8.6 percent premium over last week's closing price.