The Telegraph
Monday , November 26 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Lupin maps strategy to hawk MNC drugs

Mumbai, Nov. 25: Drug maker Lupin is likely to launch more Novartis products in the country even as other multinationals approach the third largest domestic pharma company by sales for marketing alliances.

The company plans to enhance its product kitty through such distribution arrangements and launch more drugs from its own basket, thereby maintaining a steady growth rate of 20-22 per cent in the domestic market.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Shakti Chakraborty, group president, India region formulations & CIS, Lupin Ltd, said though the company expected to launch more products with Novartis, developments in this regard were at a preliminary stage.

Lupin had entered into an agreement with Novartis in July under which the Desh Bandhu Gupta-led company began marketing the latter’s Onbrez in India. Onbrez is used for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Similarly, Lupin entered into an alliance last year with Eli Lilly to promote and distribute the US giant’s human insulin products.

Such alliances have helped domestic firms with large distribution network to earn more revenue.

According to analyst estimates, the Eli Lilly tie-up yielded around Rs 70 crore in revenues to Lupin last fiscal, and it is expected to grow further this year.

Chakraborty said the objective of such deals was not only to provide more therapies to patients but also to bring patented products to the domestic market.

He said Lupin would be keen on striking alliances in segments such as pain management, anti-obesity and dermatology. The focus will continue to remain on chronic and semi-chronic therapeutic categories.

India contributed about Rs 606 crore in formulation sales to Lupin’s total sales of Rs 2,239 crore in the second quarter this year, amounting to 27 per cent.

Lupin, which was founded in 1968, was initially involved in the manufacturing and marketing of anti-TB drugs and anti-infectives. The company later shifted to chronic therapy segments from acute therapy (to cure diseases of short duration) that has helped it to maintain a growth rate of at least 20 per cent, since 2003-04.

Chakraborty attributed the growth in the domestic market to the steady launch of products.

It had also introduced initiatives such as medical education for its sales personnel, which has helped to strengthen its brand equity.

Last fiscal, the company introduced 30 products in India.