Pfizer revving up for generics growth

Pfizer is actively scouting for deals to expand its generics business. David Simmons, president of Pfizer's new "established products" unit, told the Goldman Sachs Healthcare Conference that the drugmaker wants to multiply the number of generic products it sells, via a combination of internal growth, buyouts, and licensing deals.

Pfizer has made some big forays into generics of late, ever since CEO Jeff Kindler created a unit dedicated to the business. Last month, the company inked a partnership with India's Claris Lifesciences to sell off-patent injectable drugs. And Pfizer recently expanded a deal with Aurobindo Pharma to supply copycat meds in emerging markets.

Though Pfizer is on the offensive in generics markets, its expansion in that area is actually a defensive move. The company is bracing for the loss of patent protection on its blockbuster cholesterol med Lipitor. "This off-patent drug market is very big, growing fast and has margins better than anyone thought," Simmons told the conference (as reported by Bloomberg). "We are committed to making this business unit grow."

- read the Bloomberg article