Merck KGaA Refines Product Focus in Russia
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Merck KGaA, has transferred its diabetes and thyroid brands in Russia back to the company. The move, effective as of January 1, 2015, transfers all activities for these brands from the company's marketing partner, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, back to the company's business in Russia.

The move is part of Merck KGaA’s overall strategy for expansion in emerging with a particular focus being placed on the company’s general medicines (GM) and cardiometabolic care franchises.

“This decision also reflects our commitment to patients and society in Russia. We will continue to strengthen our business by expanding our commercial footprint, as well as by harnessing manufacturing and supply solutions locally,” said Elcin Ergun, head of global commercial at the biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, in a company statement. “This was exemplified by our recent announcement of our strategic collaboration with Pharmstandard on local fill and finish production, marketing, and distribution of our product Rebif for multiple sclerosis treatment in Russia.

There will be no change in the branding of products as a result of the switch, and the same manufacturing and distribution channels will be utilized. The biopharmaceuticals business of Merck KGaA recently expanded retail sales force in Russia in preparation for the shift in responsibilities, with promotion and marketing to be handled by a new local business unit, which is now in place.

The change covers the leading diabetes and thyroid brands of Merck KGaA, including Glucophage (metformin hydrochloride), and Glucophage XR, Glucovance, (metformin and glibenclamide), Euthyrox (levothyroxine sodium), Jodid (potassium iodide; Iodbalance in Russia), and Thyrozol (thiamazole).

Takeda will continue to market the cardiovascular care products of the Concor family of Merck KGaA, and other general medicines products of in Russia. In other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Takeda will continue to commercialize all products in the portfolio of Merck for the treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and thyroid disorders alongside other general medicines products.

Source: Merck KGaA

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