Pfizer: expects to be No.1 in Japan generic drugs

TOKYO (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc expects to be the No.1 player in the growing Japanese market for generic drugs, which it plans to enter after 2010, an executive at its Japan unit said on Monday.

Hiroshi Matsumori, corporate officer at Pfizer Japan, told Reuters that Pfizer would capitalize on its brand as a patent drug maker and expertise on Japan business to beat such rivals as Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.

Pfizer unveiled its Japanese generic drug business plan in December as part of its global move to offset risks on patent drugs.

The use of generic drugs is rising in Japan, narrowing a gap with global standards. Teva, the world’s No.1 generic drug maker, started marketing its drugs in Japan last month, targeting a 10 percent share of the Japanese market by 2015.

Pfizer is considering teaming up with one or more Japanese generic drug makers, Matsumori said in an interview.

“The biggest challenge for foreign players starting business in Japan, where standards are exceptionally high, is branding, which we have already achieved as a patent drug maker. We are completely different from those starting from scratch,” he said.

Unlike Teva, which is using a joint venture with Japanese drugmaker Kowa Co to enter the Japanese market, Pfizer prefers to form of an alliance without a joint venture, Matsumori said, adding that he has met with four or five partner candidates.

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(Reporting by Yumiko Nishitani)

Pfizer: expects to be No.1 in Japan generic drugs