Pharma aims its brands at emerging markets

Here's a new twist to Big Pharma's strategies for emerging markets. Remember that tiered-pricing model companies have been talking about? Well, apparently the tiers include a.) Branded off-patent meds; b.) Generics emblazoned with Big Pharma names; and c.) Locally known brands owned or licensed by those Big Pharmas.

The idea is to differentiate Big Pharma-backed meds from commodity generics--and get a higher price for recognizable names. Just take GlaxoSmithKline's deal with India's Dr Reddy's: The Indian company's products are subject to Glaxo's quality control checks, the New York Times reports, and eventually will get a GSK logo. "We are able to create different tiers of products at prices they haven't previously seen with our stamp of approval," CEO Andrew Witty told the paper.

Even companies that focus mainly on generics can use their brand names as a selling point in the developing world, Watson Pharmaceuticals CEO Paul Bisaro says. "It's an economic opportunity for Watson and Pfizer and Sanofi and Teva," he said. "They have a reputation that says, ‘You can count on us.' "

- read the NYT piece