Pharma industry The over 100m-dollar international deals sealed in the pharmaceutical industry are set to change the ranking of the main players on the domestic market, a 2bn-euro business.However, the situation is all the more important as it is not just the leading position in the industry that is at stake, but also the fate of the second biggest domestic producer, Zentiva Romania (the former Sicomed).

The start of this year brought three major deals in the world's pharmaceutical industry. The takeover by US giant Pfizer of rival Wyeth for 68bn dollars and the takeover by Merck Sharp & Dohme of Schering Plough for 41bn dollars will have important effects in Romania as well. However, the takeover by French group Sanofi-Aventis of Zentiva has a heavier weight for Romania.Sanofi and Zentiva businesses will drive the new entity to the leading position in the ranking of the pharmaceutical industry players, but until then there are some questions needing an answer.

In the same top ten, the Pfizer-Wyeth deal will drive the US group up several positions in the ranking, with the group now on the sixth place. The strategy for Romania is not clear in this case, either.

In the case of Merck-Schering Plough a classic integration may happen, which would take the two firms to cumulated turnover worth 70m euros, while they are now filling the 16th and respectively 14th positions.

"Normally, integration takes three years on average. In the case of these deals, I believe we'll witness different models," believes Petru Craciun, general manager of Cegedim Romania market research firm. One could speak here of a US model and a European one.

This integration period can also bring the risk of a sales and respectively market share decline. The management's focus shifts from boosting sales and market share to finalising the integration process.

In recent years, there have been several international deals with an impact on the domestic market, with the most important including that between Bayer and Schering Pharma and between Sandoz and Lek.

Also, another international deal with an impact over Romania was the one between Daiichi Sankyo and Ranbaxy. Ranbaxy is the owner of Cluj-based Terapia, the biggest domestic producer.