Where do emerging markets fit into Merck's global business?
Our emerging-market strategy is a key element of our company's growth strategy and our mission to improve healthcare globally. We are expanding with our current product portfolio, new product launches, and branded generics, including Merck's diversified brands. Merck already has a significant presence in key emerging markets, including Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Korea, Turkey, and Mexico, and we are committed to continue to grow our emerging-markets businesses. In each of these markets, we are focused on long-term growth, building on scientific innovation.
Do you favor joint ventures over acquisitions?
Business development is an important element of our strategy globally, including in emerging markets. We find that leveraging global and local expertise through partnerships and joint ventures, and sometimes acquisitions, helps us to improve patient access and drive strong business results - it has to be right for that market and that business - and support our mission and growth strategy. While we continue to build our own capabilities, we are also actively engaging regional and local partners in many areas, including manufacturing, sales, marketing, and R&D.
Does Merck have a unified approach to alliances?
Each opportunity is different, and we approach each situation with an assessment of what is best for the business in a given market or region. While an acquisition might make sense in a given situation, joint ventures and partnerships allow for a combination of expertise -both local and global - which allows Merck to share its strengths with companies that are vested in a particular area or have established products, relationships, or local expertise from which we can build. Co-promotion and co-marketing, distribution, and other sales and manufacturing arrangements are also important. Our joint ventures in Brazil, China, and India, as well as local manufacturing partnerships in Brazil, Russia, China, Korea, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia, are examples of the momentum we've sustained in these markets as we increase our reach, expand manufacturing capabilities and supply chains, and become more flexible to meet local market requirements and grow our business. We also increase the number of partners who can speak to how committed Merck is to creating partnerships that work for all parties involved.
Can you speak about your recent deal with two Brazilian drugmakers? What was the rationale behind the alliance?
Earlier this year, Merck announced the formation of a joint venture with Supera Farma Laboratórios S.A., a Brazilian pharmaceutical company co-owned by Cristália and Eurofarma. Within this new joint venture, called Supera RX, Merck will partner to distribute and sell a portfolio of innovative pharmaceutical and branded generic products solely in the Brazilian retail sector. The initial portfolio will include approximately 30 products across a range of therapeutic areas. The joint venture will have its own dedicated sales force separate from Merck, Cristália, and Eurofarma, and will also leverage the parent companies' infrastructures for activities such as sales force training. Each of the parent companies maintains a separate business in Brazil. This joint venture will give Merck additional local expertise, an expanded portfolio of products, and a strong distribution network.
Why was doing a partnership preferable to acquiring a Brazilian drugmaker?
With our colleagues in Brazil, we felt that a joint venture would allow for an optimal combination of expertise and capability, both local and global, which will allow us to collectively increase patient access to medicines in Brazil, while we work to build upon local relationships and grow our business.