Apollo Hospitals group along with MSD Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of US drug major Merck & Co, is setting up “Sugar Clinics” to tackle diabetes in the country. Under this joint initiative, Apollo will provide the clinical infrastructure while MSD would supply products and processes. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding to this effect here on Saturday. According to Apollo group chairman Pratap C Reddy, it is proposed to set up 200 sugar clinics across the country. With each clinic costing up to INR 25 lakh, the entire programme involves an investment of over INR 40 crore. ” We will set up 50 clinics in the next six months”, Reddy said adding that all Apollo hospitals in the country would start offering these facilities in a month’s span. At present, two such clinics are operational in Hyderabad on a pilot basis. There is also a proposal to launch stand alone sugar clinics where the incidence of diabetes is high. Stating that ” this is a war against diabetes, which has reached epidemic level in the country”, MSD Pharmaceuticals managing director, Naveen A Rao, said that MSD was only providing backoffice platform for the programme and ” there is no financial part to it”.