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Servier builds ?40 mln plant in Russia

France's second-largest pharmaceutical company Servier is launching a business in Russia opening a ?40 million ($54.5 million) plant last week. The transfer of production to Russia is supposed to help the French gain a stronger foothold in the Russian state-run drug program, experts say.

 ?40 million was invested in a plant north off Moscow to produce 2 billion prescription drugs annually, Servier said in a statement late last week. The production is to start by the end of the year to reach an annual capacity of 4.5 billion tablets by 2011, Servier's marketing director Yana Rostovtseva told. “It will enable us to provide medicines not only for Russia but also for Eastern Europe,” she said.

Hungarian pharmaceutical group Egis acted as a co-investor in the project. The plant is likely to help Servier increase its share in the Russia state-run drug program. The drug program, which provides pensioners and low-income families with free medicines, received 29 billion rubles last year. The budget for 2007 is some 35 billion rubles. Servier currently holds 4 percent in this market.

Foreign investors are also attracted by a booming growth of the Russian pharmaceutical market which rose 40% to $2 billion in the quarter ending in March, industry analysts say.


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