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Ranbaxy Lab Opens Morocco Unit

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Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd, India's top drugmaker by sales, said its Moroccan unit has started functioning, giving it direct access to a Rs 4,990 crore pharmaceuticals market.

The unit, Ranbaxy's third in Africa, will also help the company supply products to other north African countries in future, it said on Monday.

Ranbaxy's Africa sales rose 23 per cent to Rs 943.11 crore in 2011, it had said last month.

The drugmaker, majority owned by Japan's Daiichi Sankyo, has sales staff of about 1,000 in 44 African countries and makes drugs in Nigeria and South Africa.

"The African market is not saturated and hence, generic drugmakers have good business opportunity there," said a Mumbai-based analyst.

"The unit will help Ranbaxy push sales significantly over the next 24 months."

The pharma company, which resolved compliance-related disputes with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month, has said it expected consolidated sales rising at least 10 percent to Rs 10,978 crore in 2012.

It also launched the generic version of Pfizer's cholesterol lowering drug, Lipitor in the United States on December 1. The drug was launched in Australia in February followed by four European countries early this month.

Valued about Rs 17,465 crore by the market, shares in Ranbaxy Laboratories were up 0.94 per cent at 418.75 rupees at 12:56 pm. The BSE Sensex was up 0.5 per cent.