Merck eyes 4% mkt share, top 5 position by 2015

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New Delhi, Apr 28 (UNI) US-based pharma major Merck&Co today said it targets a market share of four per cent and emerge as one of the top five drug companies in the country by 2015.

''Globally, Merck has a four per cent market share and we expect to achieve the same target in India by 2015. The growth will be largely driven organically through launches of our best in the class products,'' Merck MSD (India) MD Naveen Rao told reporters here.

Merck&Co, which started operations here three years ago, will also double its work force to 800 from the present 400 by year-end.

In the last six months, the company has already increased its staff strength to 400 from 80.

Merck MSD joins global majors such as Biogen Idec and Daiichi Sankyo, which have recently started operations in the country with ambitious plans.

The company currently markets four product in the country-- three anti-infective critical care and one vaccine, mostly sold to hospitals.

It expects to market four drugs used to treat diabetes, dyslipidimia, cervical cancer, obesity and rotavirus.

However, the company has not firmed up investment and manufacturing plans. ''We have got the nod from the global management to make a series of investment based on milestone achievement. We are also keeping our options open on manufacturing our products here, depending on the cost advantage,'' Dr Rao said.

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