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Russia to spend $4 bln on pharma industry by 2020

Russia is planning to pump 120 billion roubles ($4 billion) into its fledgling pharmaceutical sector this decade as part of a broader push to diversify the economy from oil and gas.

"The launch of the innovative trend in the development of the pharmaceutical sector will not (happen) without help from the government," Industry Minister Viktor Khristenko said on Saturday.

Under its strategy for pharmaceutical sector development until 2020, which has yet to be finalised, Russia aims to increase local producers' share of total drug sales to 50 per cent from 20 per cent now.

According to the Association of International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, global drugmakers are ready to spend at least a combined $1 billion on setting up local production in Russia to get in on the act.

AztraZeneca and Switzerland's Novartis are among several international drug makers considering ways to ramp up investment in Russia.

Khristenko said that total investment into the Russian pharmaceutical market would amount to 188 billion roubles until 2020, implying that private investments by Russian and international drugmakers would amount to 68 billion roubles.

"We will be ready to provide resources within the framework of the federal target programme in order to share the risks with the business," Khristenko told reporters at Russia's annual International Economic Forum. 


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