AstraZeneca to scale up South African operations

THE UK’s second-largest drugmaker, AstraZeneca, has revealed it is scaling up its up its operations in South Africa.

Chief executive officer David Brennan told Bloomberg news that sales are growing faster there than in more established markets.

At the Fortune Global Forum in Cape Town, he said AstraZeneca had increased investment in marketing, selling and clinical research capabilities in South Africa.

The London-based drugmaker needs new sources of revenue to offset potential competition to seven drugs by 2014, including three of its bestsellers, which are Nexium for ulcers, the antipsychotic Seroquel and Crestor for cholesterol.