India's Sun Pharma reportedly plotting to snatch Japanese drug portfolio from Novartis
- Sun Pharma is reportedly in talks to buy a Japan-branded portfolio from Novartis. The deal, which is potentially in the $400 million range, could be completed by December.
- No Indian companies have entered the Japanese biopharma market since 2011, when Lupin acquired l'rom Pharmaceuticals.
- The Japanese government has been attempting to reduce healthcare costs by relying more on generics—an area of strength for the Indian pharmaceutical industry.
Japanese companies have been wary of entering the Indian market dating back to 2008 when Daiichi Sanyo purchased Ranbaxy Lab. Daiichi quickly faced setbacks after the FDA imposed numerous sanctions on Ranbaxy. After selling Ranbaxy to Sun Pharma in 2014, Daiichi decided last year to divest their remaining shares in Sun Pharma and exit the Indian market.
Now, India sees an opportunity to capitalize on the needs of the Japanese market. In its efforts to rein in healthcare costs, Japan is pushing for increased consumption of generics with the goal of increasing usage to 60% within the next couple of years.
As Japan ages and healthcare consumption increases, the Japanese market could be a good opportunity for Indian pharma. Sun Pharma could be ahead of the curve with its potential acquisition of Novartis' Japanese drugs.