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      AstraZeneca to change marketing strategy

      Posted AtBusiness-Standard.com

      AstraZeneca Pharma India plans to take the medico-marketing route to push drug sales in India. This it will do by raising the pharma skills available for selling as also making the sales force more effective.

      "To achieve this, the company is in the process of hiring qualified doctors to sell drugs and also promote them ethically through dissemination of scientific data to the medical fraternity," said Bhasker V Iyer, managing director, AstraZeneca Pharma India.

      "The company has commenced hiring people in therapy segments like maternal health care, infection and pain and cardiovascular diseases. Through financial year 2005-06 we plan to stabilise, and then leverage the skills and be effective from mid 2006," he added.

      As part of the medico-marketing, zonal medical advisors have been inducted to reach customers better. Efforts are on to have a full-fledged team for this to be functional by year end.

      The company is also focusing on improving the effectiveness of its sales force as a key business driver. This helps with cost effectiveness in selling and also leads to better business planning, he said.

      With the patent regime in place in India, the company has plans to launch a slew of drugs. But before that, the company is strengthening its IPR-legal capabilities and is also developing new skills to begin clinical trials.

      "From our global portfolio, a few patented products are to hit India after FY 2007-08 and many of the drugs are in the mail box," said Iyer.

      Before the parent company comes in with its latest portfolio, the Indian arm has been mandated to strengthen its existing therapeutics brands by coming out with new variants.

      September 26, 2005


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