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Russia nods on list of 57 strategically important drugs to be produced locally

The Russian government has on Monday approved a list of strategically important drugs that will need to be manufactured in Russia in the years to come, business news agency PRIME-TASS reported.

The list of approved products, 57 in total, was cleared "in order to increase affordability of medicines for the treatment of common diseases."

Earlier, Health and Social Development Minister, Tatyana Golikova said that the lists includes oncology drugs, products for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, hepatitis B and C, Gaucher’s disease (a rare chronic disorder of lipid metabolism of genetic origin) and multiple sclerosis. These are also brand new antibiotics, anti-tumour, anti-inflammatory medications, anaesthetics and many others.

These drugs are supposed to be manufactured in Russia by 2015, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said last week during a discussion with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Hungary’s two listed drug makers, Richter and Egis, will not be affected negatively by the decision, since both of them have manufacturing capacities in Russia (Egis works there in a joint venture with its parent company Servier).

Industry and Trade Minister Viktor Khristenko said earlier that in a programme spanning through 2020 Russia could spend as much as 120 billion rubles (EUR 3.1 bn) on the development of the local pharmaceutical sector. Total budget for the programme is RUB 188 bn, RUB 68 bn of which are to be covered from private capital. Up to date, 200 projects have been welcomed into the scheme.

"The development of Russian pharmaceuticals will not go through without help from the state" Khristenko said last week.

Under its strategy for pharmaceutical sector development, Russia aims to increase local producers' share of total drug sales from its current 20% to 25% by 2012 and 50% by 2020.

Drug exports are also to be increased eightfold relative to 2008 and the government wants to boost the ratio of innovative drugs in the product portfolio of local producers to 60%.

Asked by Putin why have the drugs on the list not been manufactured in Russia yet, Zhukov said a special programme has been drafted to make these in the Russian Federation.

"The programme provides for incentives for Russian manufacturers and it also aims to bring in investment, including foreign investment from leading companies that are ready to manufacture such drugs in Russia," Zhukov said.

According to the Russian Association of International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, global drug makers are ready to spend a combined USD 1 billion (EUR 795 m) on setting up local production in Russia. Multinationals which have announced plans to set up or extend manufacturing facilities in Russia, include AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, and Sanofi-aventis.


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