Astra snaps up generic drug firm in China

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The Independent Online

AstraZeneca has announced plans to buy a Chinese generic drugs manufacturer as it seeks to grow its clout in the country's growing pharamaceuticals market.

The FTSE 100-listed firm said it had entered into an agreement to buy privately-owned Guangdong Beikang Pharmaceutical Company based in Conguha city in the country's Guangdong province.

"AstraZeneca continues to invest in the key emerging markets such as China where the combination of growing populations, elevated levels of chronic diseases and increasing income are driving demand and expectations for better healthcare treatment," Mark Mallon, the president of Astra's Asia-Pacific business, said.

The drug-maker did not say how much it was paying for Guangdong, which will strengthen its position as the second biggest foreign drugs firm (behind Pfizer) in the country.