MUMBAI India's largest drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries expects its domestic consumer healthcare business to grow by up to 25 percent this year, led by a renewed marketing push on some older brands, the company's India chief said on Wednesday.
The move is part of a wider thrust by the world's fifth-largest generic drugs company to expand its global consumer healthcare portfolio, which it has previously said it hopes to expand into a high-margin "growth engine".
Sun Pharma plans to start selling some of its existing prescription dermatology products over the counter as part of the push, India Chief Executive Abhay Gandhi told reporters at a conference. It started with the sunscreen Suncros on Wednesday, releasing a television commercial and roping in a Bollywood celebrity to promote the product.
It said it is also considering acquisitions in the segment.
Sun Pharma acquired the consumer healthcare business through its purchase of Ranbaxy in 2014 and also sells analgesics, dietary supplements and antacids under it.
The business competes with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare and India's fifth-largest generic drugmaker Cipla, which has also been expanding its consumer healthcare offerings.
Growth in India is critical for Sun Pharma at a time when sales in its largest market, the United States, have been weak because of regulatory troubles while currency volatility has brought uncertainty in emerging markets.
(Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and David Goodman)
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