Reuters: Emerging markets are no panacea

Big Pharma's march into emerging markets could run into some roadblocks. Indeed, some drugmakers have already run up against obstacles, while others may soon find their emerging-markets strategies need some tweaking, Reuters reports.

GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) faces pricing pressure in Turkey and Russia. Novo Nordisk ($NVO) saw Chinese sales drop by 3% because of cost-cutting. AstraZeneca ($AZN) found itself facing early generic competition in Brazil for its branded drugs Crestor and Seroquel, which cut into emerging-markets growth by three percentage points.

Meanwhile, the whole branded-generics approach may offer only a short term promise. KPMG'S Chris Stirling told Reuters that Chinese drug-pricing moves have cut into Big Pharma's ability to price meds at a premium. And as Deutsche Bank's Tim Race told the news service, the imprimatur of Big Pharma is only highly prized where lesser drug companies can't be trusted. "[T]he Chinese and Brazilians and others are quite quickly coming online with better regulation, creating better trust in local products," Race added.

- see the analysis from Reuters