News Feature | March 10, 2014

Sun Pharmaceuticals Looking To Jump Into Japan's Generic Drug Market

Source: Pharmaceutical Online

By Marcus Johnson

Sun Pharmaceuticals is currently India’s largest drug producer. The company is looking to move into the Japanese generic market, and industry experts believe it wants to do so through partnerships or acquisitions. The market for low-cost drugs in Japan is very strong. Japanese legislators would like to make it easier for generics companies to break into the market in order to slow the growth of healthcare costs.

Uday Baldota, Sun Pharma’s vice president of finance and accounts, has expressed his company’s interest in the Japanese market. “At an intent level, we would like to participate in the Japanese generic market. But we are still thinking through as to what's the best way to participate,” Baldota said. “It could be a partnership, or an acquisition. We haven't really narrowed down the specific way of doing it. We will do acquisitions and remain keen to do acquisitions, but it's not necessary for us to do an acquisition just to grow our business. We feel comfortable doing large deals. That is not something that will deter us.”

India has long been the world’s largest producer of generic pharmaceuticals. Indian firms have broken into the US market, as over 50 percent of Sun Pharma sales come from the United States. Most Indian companies have not yet had success breaking into the Japanese market. Sun Pharma has been in talks to buy drug companies before, but some of their deals have fallen through. Sun Pharma was not able to finalize a deal for Taro Pharmaceutical Industries last year. The company was said to be involved in talks to buy Aptalis in 2013 before the company was bought by Forest Laboratories in January.