Pfizer hasn't been standing idly by as its rivals forge ahead into generics and emerging markets. The drugmaker announced today that it has inked licensing deals with two Indian pharma firms--deals that will not only beef up its presence in the developing world but also broaden its portfolio of generic meds.
The company has expanded its collaboration with Aurobindo Pharma, gaining rights to 60 generic products in more than 70 emerging markets spread across Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Pfizer also gets U.S. and European rights to some Aurobindo generics under the deal. Meanwhile, Pfizer has also teamed up with Claris, acquiring rights to 15 injectable generics. Terms of the deals weren't disclosed.
Pfizer's emerging markets chief lauded the "innovative partnerships" and touted their promise for expanding Pfizer's presence in the developing world. Fair enough. But CEO Jeff Kindler may have put his foot in his mouth in announcing the deals. "The off-patent marketplace worldwide too often suffers from quality and supply reliability issues," Kindler said in a statement. "With our broad established medicines portfolio and our world-class manufacturing capabilities, Pfizer is in an ideal position to supply high-quality medicines at affordable prices to people around the world."
The unfortunate subtext: Pfizer plans to swoop into emerging markets like a pharma superhero, making everything better. In other words, Pfizer just does medicines better. True or no, it doesn't seem to be the best way to foster happy-happy relations with emerging-markets partners--or customers. What do you think?
- read the Pfizer announcement
- see the story from Reuters