When Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, acquired 40 percent of Brazilian generic pharmaceutical firm Laboratorio Teuto Brasileiro in October last year, it wasn't a big surprise for industry watchers. Pfizer isn't the only pharma giant with an eye on Brazil's $26bn pharmaceuticals industry and its small but growing niche in generic drugs.
The big pharma companies worldwide, struggling with an absence of big blockbuster drug discoveries, see growth in buying generic-drug makers.
In Brazil, pharmaceuticals companies may be able to have it both ways. "My sense is you'll get growth from both sides of the industry, though generics will continue to outpace [the rest of the sector]," says Felipe Monteiro, a Wharton management professor. "Brazil is a serious market for these companies. It's now part of a global chess game, where you produce low-cost drugs and generics there and ship them to Chile or Europe."
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