US pharmaceutical group Schering-Plough is honing its attention on regions outside its domestic market in order to boost global performance, with an increased focus planned on key areas such as Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, the group said yesterday.

The changes, which include a re-jig of management, come under the group’s six-to-eight year Action Agenda, which is designed to transform Schering-Plough into a global high performance competitor for the long-term.

Schering-Plough has restructured its Europe-based regional organization into two separate areas to allow a more intense focus on the “important and increasingly complex pharmaceutical marketplaces of Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Canada, the Middle East and Africa.” Similarly, the former Latin America/Far East Region has been cut into two separate organizations as Latin America and the renamed Asia-Pacific Region.

“These changes allow us to focus even more effectively on the needs of our customers in different markets, to better manage and drive growth and to build a competitive edge through innovation, speed and flexibility,” commented Fred Hassan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the firm.

Schering-Plough is working hard to accelerate growth after the loss of patent protection for its one-time blockbuster anti-allergy drug, Claritin (loratadine), in 2002, as well as the emergence of certain production problems, crippled the firm’s earnings. But things are starting to look up for the company; it swung back into the red in last year with earnings $183 million, or $0.12 per share, compared to a loss of $981 million, or $0.67 a share, for 2004.