Sanofi Aventis plans rural push under Hoechst brand

Written by MG Arun | Mumbai | Updated: Dec 12 2009, 05:22am hrs
Sanofi Aventis India has embarked on a rural push for its drugs under the Hoechst umbrella, the brand under which Aventis Pharma was incorporated in India in 1956. It will launch 15 products in key therapies like anti-infective, cough, cold & allergy, gastrointestinal, and pain under Hoechst brand. The companys existing major drugs like Combiflam, Soframycin and Avil will complement new products.

So, Hoechst, which faded into oblivion, as the company went through a series of changes in a dynamic business environment in the last two decades, is all set to resurface. The Hoechst business unit, (earlier the primary healthcare division) is targeting an incremental turnover of Rs 500 crore over the next five years. It will push the drugs into tier II cities with the help of 300 medical representatives and 75 area managers. The company in August launched these products in three statesUP, Bihar and West Bengal. From January, these will be launched in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

Sanofi has another four business units in India, namely cardiovascular disease & metabolic, hospital & oncology, central nervous system (CNS) & internal medicine and the vaccines division (Sanofi Pasteur).

The company is getting into 15 molecules in India for the first time to target these markets. Sanofi says the move is an entry point, and going forward, it could have a few more brands and molecules in acute therapy.

As a first step towards the rural push, the company has launched Prayas, (meaning endeavor), where specialists share latest medical knowledge and clinical experience with general practitioners based in smaller towns and villages. Sanofi has already conducted 554 workshops and three modules on respiratory diseases during the pilot phase for over 3,200 doctors across the three states.

Prayas aims to disseminate new information to doctors in rural areas. There is a real gap in doctors trying to learn new ways of diagnosis and treatment. The gap between incidence of diseases and treatment is huge, Shailesh Aiyyangar, managing director, Sanofi Aventis India, told FE in an interview.

Sanofi-Aventis in India operates through three entitiesAventis Pharma Limited, Sanofi-Synthelabo (India) Limited and Sanofi Pasteur India Private Limited, and has 25 major products in seven major therapeutic areas in India.