NovartisIn one stroke, Swiss pharma giant Novartis AG could break into the league of top five players in the Rs 600-crore plus Indian eyecare market from its current position at 13, if its takeover of Alcon goes through seamlessly and eventually results in integration of Alcon India into the Indian arm of Novartis. Such a combined entity of Novartis and Alcon would then command a marketshare of 7.5% in the domestic eyecare market, just 1.4% less compared with the third and fourth ranked companies, FDC and Sun Pharma, which command 8.9% marketshare each.

The proposed merged entity would reach roughly the halfway mark of what the current market leader, Allergan, commands at present that is discounting the new products from Alcon’s stable that Novartis could launch in the Indian market. Currently, Novartis India accounts for a meagre 2.3% of the total eyecare market, while Alcon holds a 5.2% marketshare, according to ORG IMS.

In its ascension to the top, Novartis would climb eight notches up and surpass rival MNC GlaxoSmithKlime, which stands at the seventh position with 3.5% marketshare. The other companies it would better include Micro Labs, Sunways, Ajanta Pharma and Intas. Such a reshuffle would mean that in the eyecare market the difference between the marketshare of the companies holding third, fourth and fifth ranks would become negligible and boundaries demarcating such positions would blur with different players taking leads in different quarters.

Productwise, the acquisition would enable the combined entity to be present in 70% of the segments that make up global vision care sector and consolidate Novartis’ position by giving it control over a third of the $26-billion global eyecare market. Compared to the global advantages, its gains in India look dwarfed, but Novartis would leave no stone unturned to milk this deal to its fullest at a time when patents on its blockbuster drugs would start expiring 2012 onwards.

Novartis AG chief executive officer Daniel Vasella has said that emerging markets would present major opportunities to be tapped. However, experts are still watching the space to see whether Alcon India would eventually be integrated into Novartis India. The Novartis spokesperson refused to comment on the benefits that could accrue on account of Alcon deal, saying the parent company has just announced the deal and it would be too premature to talk. Novartis on Monday had announced a plan to acquire the 75% of Alcon that it doesn’t own for…