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.