Novo Nordisk Threatened in Southeast Asia

The French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis has entered 2010 with a new and aggressive pricing strategy for a number of countries in Southeast Asia and Novo Nordisk will inevitably be affected by this low-cost competition.
So far, Sanofi-Aventis announced that prices will be lowered in Indonesia and the Philippines, but Thailand and several other countries in the region will also come under the new pricing strategy, which has been initiated to exploit the potential of the region’s growing number of diabetics and patients with cancer.
For the patients the price reductions will be notable. In Indonesia and the Philippines patients will be able to save up to 50 percent on the cancer treatment Taxotere and medicines such as the diabetes medicine Lantus, which is a superior competitor to Novo Nordisk’s Levemir, Sanofi-Aventis chief of Southeast Asia Jean-Louis Grunwald reported earlier this week.
In the field of diabetes, Sanofi-Aventis has an ambition to emulate Novo Nordisk’s role as the world’s leading pharmaceutical company in the diabetes area.
What Sanofi-Aventis’s low price strategy will mean to Novo Nordisk, the Danish pharmaceutical group did not say.
According to share analyst Henrik Simonsen from SEB Enskilda, Novo Nordisk will not be able to ignore Sanofi-Aventis’ new approach, although Indonesia and the Philippines are relatively small markets.
“Of course it will affect Novo Nordisk and it is not something they can ignore,” says Henrik Simonsen.

Source: Berlingske Tidende 15.01.2010

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