Sanofi's India unit outlines generics pitch

Sanofi-Aventis is plotting a new marketing push into India. Dubbed "Prayas," the effort aims to boost generic drug sales in small towns and across rural India, the Business Standard reports. The plan is to hire four contract manufacturers to turn out off-patent meds, aiming for 15 new generic products to be sold under the Hoechst brand name.

It's not an enormous initiative as drug sales go; Managing Director Shailesh Ayyangar told the Standard he wants to build up to about $10.5 million in annual sales over the next five years. But it merges two of the biggest trends in Big Pharma these days: Emerging markets and generic products. GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, and Pfizer also are looking to expand their generics sales in the Indian countryside.

Sanofi's "Prayas" plan includes some social initiatives that could be a blueprint for how drugmakers can profit from rural areas in developing nations, such as public-private partnerships with government and NGOs, and healthcare workshops for up to 100,000 GPs and specialists in the hinterlands.

- read the story in the Business Standard