Eastern Europe is fast emerging as the hottest destination for Indian pharmaceutical companies, as they are scouting all over Europe for acquisitions and greenfield opportunities.
Besides adding markets and products to a company's portfolio, ventures in eastern Europe may also serve as a springboard for those that are vying to make a mark in European and US markets.
Lupin and Torrent Pharmaceuticals, both of whom are in the race for Polish company Jelfa Pharmaceutical, are the newest entrants in the race. Ranbaxy Laboratories has forayed into Romania with the brand Docktor Mom.
Strides Arcolab, too, acquired a sterile manufacturing facility in Poland recently, and this seems to be the beginning of the trend.
Dilip Sanghavi, managing director of Sun Pharma says, "Moves such as reference pricing and reimbursement lists in Hungary, Croatia, Poland, and Czech, are pro-generic, and should favour Indian companies."
Sun Pharma's first ever European acquisition, too, was the purchase of a manufacturing operation of Hungarian company, Valeant Pharmaceuticals.
Countries like Poland, Hungary, Romania, Czehoslovakia, Croatia and Bulgaria are believed to be growing at twice the rate of the old EU states.
"For generic companies that lap up markets by offering drugs at lower costs, these countries are a goldmine," believes Harinder Sikka, president (corporate Affairs) of Nicholas Piramal.
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Lupin and Torrent Pharma are in race for Poland's Jelfa
Ranbaxy has forayed into Romania with Docktor Mom
- Strides has acquired a sterile manufacturing facility in Poland