Merck to sell Bristol-Myers drugs in Latin America

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Merck Serono, a division of Merck in Darmstadt, Germany, has signed an agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) to distribute a portfolio of established pharmaceutical brands in Latin America.

Under the terms of the agreement, Merck has acquired the exclusive rights to market, sell and distribute more than 30 prescription medicines, in particular in the CardioMetabolic Care therapeutic area, in seven Latin American countries.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed, although BMS sales for this medicines portfolio exceeded $90 million in 2007, according to Merck.

Merck said that the duration of the agreement is limited to an initial period of three years, with the possibility of further extension upon mutual agreement. The seven countries in Latin America covered by this in-licensing agreement are Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

The portfolio includes renowned brands such as Pravachol (pravastatin) for the treatment of elevated cholesterol levels and Monopril, an ACE-inhibitor used in the field of hypertension, Merck said. While Merck will be the exclusive distributor, BMS said it will remain responsible for manufacturing of the medicines.

“The established medicine brands of BMS will complement our already strong portfolio, especially in cardiovascular diseases and in the field of primary care, so that we can offer added value to physicians and patients,” said Franck Latrille, executive vice president commercial international at Merck.