Open Russian OTC Market Would Come With Challenges
This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet
Expanding nonprescription drug sales in Russia from pharmacies to grocery stores would open doors to new sales, but the huge emerging market presents significant hurdles to firms looking to fully capitalize on the opportunity
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China not only has the largest population at 1.3 billion, it also has the largest percentage of diet pill users - 37 percent - a 16-country survey of 16,000 people in the February issue of Reader's Digest shows. The report out Jan. 15 also says 30 percent of people in Brazil take diet pills, as do 24 percent of people in Russia and 23 percent in Mexico. China and Russia are emerging markets of increasing interest to drug and supplement firms, but entering these markets poses significant challenges including regulatory irregularities and stringent review processes (1"The Tan Sheet" Sept. 16, 2009 and 2"The Tan Sheet" Nov. 30, 2009)
Sanofi-Aventis' planned dedicated OTC division will be a key component in the firm's efforts to better focus on maximizing product opportunities and identifying new acquisition targets
Russia's rapidly growing over-the-counter market offers pharmaceutical companies a chance to expand their business, but its complex regulations and lengthy registration timelines may hinder entry