Pfizer aims for No. 1 in Japanese generics

Who'll be tops in Japan for generic drugs? Well, don't look at the world's largest generics maker, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Pfizer will be the No. 1 player in Japanese generics, Pfizer Japan's Hiroshi Matsumori tells Reuters, even though it hasn't yet entered that market.

Pfizer is aiming to push into Japanese generics after this year. Diversifying into generics in Japan is just part of the drugmaker's global overhaul, designed to build up new markets to help offset slowing growth and generic competition in mature markets such as the U.S. The company unveiled its plans for Japan a couple months ago.

But Teva actually entered the Japanese market last month, planning to amass a 10 percent market share via a joint venture with Japanese drugmaker Kowa. How will Pfizer beat that? First, by setting up an alliance with one or more Japanese drugmakers, rather than a J.V., Matsumori says. Then, by leveraging its well-known name and its expertise in Japan to beat out the likes of Teva.

If we know Teva, them's fighting words. We'll have to see how the feisty Israeli company responds.

- read the Reuters piece