With the Japanese government's move towards generics, Japanese pharmaceutical market seems to have become an attractive destination for India.
Japan, the second largest pharmaceutical market in the world, is moving aggressively into the generic space, to improve the quality of affordable healthcare. The Japanese government has set a deadline—that 30% of the market must turn generic by 2012. This has attracted Indian companies to the Japanese market.
S Ramesh, President of Finance and Planning, Lupin, said, “The Japanese market is very attractive. We believe it has an inflection point where the generics group will take off. I think this particular time is particularly good because targets are much cheaper than what it was some time ago.”
While Indian companies are keen on the Japanese pharma market, the stringent regulations are still a hurdle.
“Acquiring something in Japan is much more difficult. Success of any acquisition depends on the kind of relationship that you're able to build with the Japanese,” Ramesh said.
However, there may be some respite for Indian companies.
Kenji Toda, Chairman of the International Affairs Committee, Japan Pharma Manufacturers Association, said, “There are many guidelines or directives which were only written in Japanese. The Indian company is suffering difficulty to understand precise parts of the guidelines. I am continuously recommending to the Japanese government to express it in English so otherwise it’s very difficult.”
Experts say that this move towards generics in Japan will definitely mean an increased amount of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity between India and Japan.