Merck sees R&D opportunities in India


STEFAN Oschmann is president, Emerging Markets, at Merck, the world’s second largest pharmaceuticals company […] Mr Oschmann hopes to push both revenues and R&D [in India], which “is already among the company’s top five markets“.

[…] What about R&D? Right now, the bulk of the company’s basic research takes place in North America, but that’s bound to change, says Mr Oschmann.

India has potentially strong capability in drug R&D. Its reverse engineering expertise, gathered in the days of process patents, used to be the bugbear of the world’s pharma giants. After joining the World Trade Organisation, India adopted product patents, but the process expertise continues to make Indian pharma companies world beaters in continuous cost reduction. Indian companies keep innovating manufacturing processes, to lower their production costs further. There is every reason for the world’s pharma giants to gain access to this expertise, as they prepare to garner larger shares of their revenue from cost-sensitive emerging markets.


But that’s not all. On March 10, a chemical breakthrough that would help produce environment-friendly plastics was announced by scientists from IBM and Stanford University, showing the increasing role of information technology in developing new molecules. India has proven capability in information technology that could be tapped for pharma research. This, indeed, is the case, concurs Mr Oschmann.

Source: Economic Times Mumbai; Date:2010 Mar 29; Section:Editorial; Page Number 18

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