AZ eyes generics, emerging markets

AstraZeneca plans a big shift in strategy, Dow Jones reports. CEO David Brennan (photo) told the news service that the company will consider buying branded generic products in emerging countries. That's a change from AZ's long-held practice of focusing on high-priced branded meds in the U.S. and Europe.

What's driving the change? Brennan thinks the developed world is pretty well played out, in terms of big increases in pharma sales. In fact, the company expects pharma sales in the usual markets to trend negative by early in the 2010s. So emerging markets are going to be crucial to the industry's long-term growth.

Brennan's not the only pharma CEO to eye the developing world, of course. GlaxoSmithKline's Andrew Witty (photo), for one, has been talking up his company's strategy for emerging markets. And GSK recently forged a deal with South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare Holdings, a maker of low-cost branded, but unpatented, drugs to sell in untapped markets.

- read the MarketWatch report
- see the story in the Globe and Mail