Merck & Co has entered into a pact with Adcock Ingram to co-promote and distribute a number of the former giant’s products in South Africa.

The products that will be jointly promoted come from various therapeutic areas including asthma, dermatology, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, migraine and osteoporosis. The alliance, for which financial details were not disclosed, will also cover a portfolio of over-the-counter medicines.

Stefan Oschmann, president of emerging markets at Merck Sharp & Dohme, said the collaboration is part of the company’s “long-term strategy of expanding our geographic presence”. He added that the pact “will position us for leadership in emerging markets” which will be “a key contributor to our future performance and growth”.

Merck expects that the emerging markets will account for more than 25% of its global pharmaceutical and vaccine revenue in 2013. Mr Oschmann added that part of its growth strategy in this area is “actively seeking local collaborations” and “shows our commitment to invest in South Africa”.

Jonathan Louw, chief executive at Adcock Ingram, said the deal will “enhance our diverse portfolio and broaden our pipeline of new products in the market place”. He added that together, “we have a formidable marketing and distribution capacity backed by an excellent track record of delivery to all our clients”.

Adcock Ingram has a market capitalisation of about $9 billion rand, about $1.1 billion, and occupies 10% of the South African private drugs market. The company has two businesses - pharmaceuticals and hospital products.