Takeda, Pfizer team for Actos sales in China

More proof that China's where it's at for pharma reps. Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical has brought Pfizer on board to help market its blockbuster diabetes drug Actos there, aiming for its fast-growing market for diabetes meds. China is expected to have more than 50 million diabetics by 2025, Pfizer said in a press release, and its overall drug market is expanding at the rapid annual clip of more than 20 percent.

With the marketing deal, Takeda expands its sales support for Actos in China by almost twenty times. The company's joint venture in the country has about 170 sales reps, Bloomberg reports. Pfizer has 3,000. "We are committed to contributing to the health of people in China through a strong sales and marketing framework," Takeda EVP Alan MacKenzie said in a statement, "and we look forward to further expanding our talent base in China to realize this goal."

For its part, Pfizer gets a proven blockbuster to sell in a market it's targeted for big growth. The company has said it wants to capture 6 percent of the Chinese market over the next few years; it's now at 4 percent. And Goldman Sachs recently predicted that China would account for $3 billion of the company's annual revenues by 2012.

How much will the Actos deal contribute to that total? Well, under this new agreement Pfizer will get a percentage of Actos sales in China (no specifics were disclosed). We'll have to wait and see how much that turns out to be.

- get the Pfizer release
- see the Bloomberg news
- read the story in China Daily