Merck Will No Longer Make India A Focus — Of the Developing Markets Strategy — IP Policies In Play?

Earlier this month, Merck indicated that, as it sharpened its focus, and laid off another 8,500 people, it would no longer count India among its top priorities — in its developing markets strategy.

Given that Whitehouse Station had been lobbying in DC as recently as August 2013, on India’s IP policies, and has (thus far) unsuccessfully litigated the issue of a generic sitagliptin (branded by Merck as Januvia®) derivative (a sitagliptin phosphate form) being sold in India, I suspect these events are part of a cause effect chain.

Feel free to decide for yourself — and even decide otherwise. Here’s a bit from the October 9, 2013 news item:

. . . .US pharma major Merck Sharp & Dohme or MSD has dropped India from its list of priority markets in its latest global initiative to sharpen commercial and R&D capabilities. Other emerging markets like China, Russia and Brazil have found a place on the company’s top ten priority market list. . . .

So it goes. I think this is more than a coincidence, though. I think it sensible for Merck to move India back a step or two, if it cannot be sure Merck’s IP will be protected there.


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