Stada poised to widen consumer care offering abroad

FRANKFURT, June 25 Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:02am EDT

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FRANKFURT, June 25 (Reuters) - German generic drugmaker Stada is in advanced talks to buy more prescription-free healthcare product businesses in Britain and Eastern Europe to cut its reliance on its shrinking domestic business.

"We are on track to sign a deal on a very profitable dermatology product in England in the next two to three weeks," Chief Executive Officer Hartmut Retzlaff told journalists at a press briefing.

He added Stada also planned to buy another prescription-free product in Britain and dietary supplements businesses in eastern Europe, adding that it was eyeing products rather than the outright purchase of companies.

Stada's domestic business is shrinking because medical insurers are putting bulk purchases out to tender among generic drugmakers, triggering a price war for big contracts and prompting Stada to retreat in some market segments.

The CEO added that Stada's business in Russia, which has been hurt by a drop in the ruble and by weak demand for some consumer care products due to the Ukraine crisis, was likely to improve somewhat in the second half of the year. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Frank Siebelt; Editing by Christoph Steitz)

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