Merck (MRK.NYSE) announced on Tuesday that it has reached a deal with China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm; 1099.HK) to market vaccines and other drugs, AP reported. Merck will use Sinopharm, China’s largest pharmaceutical group with revenues of US$9.5 billion in 2009, as its joint venture partner in the country to sell and distribute a wide array of vaccines and pharmaceutical products. However, the two firms would not disclose specifics of their agreement. Many analysts reckon Merck’s strategy is to use sales from emerging markets to compensate for an anticipated loss of revenue as blockbuster drug patents are set to expire. Merk executives said they expect emerging market revenues to rise from 17% of total global revenue today to over 25% by 2013.
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