November 21, 2003

 

 

India's Charak Pharma Possible Alliance With Swiss Novartis in Animal Healthcare Business

 

India's Charak Pharma is in an advanced stage of negotiation with Swiss multinational Novartis India for a strategic tie-up for the animal healthcare business. The alliance will give Novartis a ready portfolio of herbal animal healthcare range of products.

 

But a Novartis spokesperson refused to comment on the issue and said "We are in talks with several companies for a variety of reasons. We will not comment on market speculations." Pulin Shroff, managing director, Charak Pharma, neither confirmed nor denied the development.

 

Charak is a dominant player in this segment with three major herbal animal healthcare products including Hormotone (a menstrual modulator for animals), Livovet (a liver and anti-indigestion drug) and Milchey (a drug that increases cattle milk flow). It is reliably learnt that Charak is also in talks with Natural Care and Cattle Care, two Indian herbal animal healthcare companies, for a strategic tie-up.

 

Sources close to the development said while the alliance will enable Charak get the marketing edge, Novartis will be in a position to leverage the product range and have a parallel herbal portfolio. Novartis' animal health division has a presence in market segments including cattle, poultry and aqua.

 

The growth rate in animal health industry remained low at 3% with generic competition keeping margins under pressure. According to Novartis, the poultry market has had to face tremendous challenges with excess production leading to price erosion and concentration of business in the hands of select players.

 

Also, high feed cost has affected farm profitability. However, the aqua market segment continues its growth trend.

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