Hits Like a BRIC - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Hits Like a BRIC
How to make sense of the growing diabetes market in Brazil, Russia, India, and China


Pharmaceutical Executive


At the outset, pharma companies may decide to develop ventures with local NGOs or with government organizations. The chief benefit of this is the insight gained by working with the variety of people and agencies involved in diabetes management regionally or nationally. For example, as part of the World Partner Project initiative, Novo Nordisk established an integrated diabetes-management system in six major cities in China by collaborating with China's Ministry of Health and the Chinese Diabetes Society. In India, the World Diabetes Foundation has funded many projects—ranging from diabetes prevention to managing diabetic retinopathy—by collaborating with health professionals, third parties, and state governments.

Through dialogue with governments, industry associations may negotiate lower drug-import tariffs and increases in mandated profit limits or lobby for enforced intellectual-property rights. For example, the Association of International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers met with the Russian government in July 2007 to negotiate debt repayments, owed by the Federal Fund for Medical Insurance to member pharma firms.

In the end, the movement of the industry toward treating BRIC countries' chronic-disease burden will help enable these markets to grow—which will help both the health of the nations and the health of the industry.

Charles Conrad Uy is a Shell Centenary Scholar at the University of Cambridge and a consultant at the Mott MacDonald Group in London. He can be reached at

Gerhard Symons is a doctoral researcher at the Centre for Health Management, Tanaka Business School, Imperial College London. He can be reached at


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