Brazil's government will use regulation and its financial muscle to trump a wave of foreign takeovers in the nation's pharmaceutical industry, the daily newspaper Valor Economico said on Wednesday, citing a top official.
In April, French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA) agreed to buy Brazil's Medley, the country's largest maker of generic medicines, for about $870 million. Pfizer (PFE.N), the world's largest drug company, is near a deal to pay $525 million for generic maker Neo Quimica.
The Health Ministry plans to sign a number of partnerships between state-controlled laboratories and private-sector drugmakers before year's end, to produce medicines jointly and reduce dependence on foreign rivals, Valor said, citing Reinaldo Guimaraes, the ministry's undersecretary for strategic purchases, science and technology.
Guimaraes told Valor in an interview that the ministry is worried with the possible denationalization of the sector, and that it is even more important to see that the country is a victim of a speculative attack, because of the success of its pharmaceutical industry.
The government, which spends billions of dollars annually on purchases of medicines and supplies for the production of drugs, will use its bargaining power to curb foreign presence in the market, Guimaraes told Valor.
He highlighted a recent accord signed between the government and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) to include the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in the nation's vaccination plan, Valor said.
The plan includes technology transfers and the creation of a research and development center to develop vaccines for malaria and other tropical diseases. the newspaper said.
Regulatory changes, including easier rules on patents of so-called biogeneric drugs, are under consideration, Guimaraes was quoted as saying by Valor.