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Everything is calm in the pharmaceutical market: the drug manufacturer told about the import substitution of medicines

Everything is calm in the pharmaceutical market: the drug manufacturer told about the import substitution of medicines

Photo: Pxhere

Pharmaceuticals is one of the most progressive industries, being updated continuously. In the conditions of external restrictions, the Russian pharmaceutical market is forced to look for new approaches to work, but even in a separate mode it remains one of the most advanced. Nikolay Bespalov, Development Director of the pharmaceutical company RNC Pharma, told the editorial board of "Made in Russia" about the situation with the production of domestic drugs in Russia.

Is it possible to talk about a shortage of domestic drugs and, if so, what exactly are we talking about?Currently, an incomplete assortment is being produced in Russia, which is required by the healthcare system.

Of course, there are difficulties in the availability of certain products, although a lot has already been done over the past ten years, but this is not enough yet.

The main problem of Russian healthcare, as in any country, is drugs for the treatment of non-communicable diseases. These are oncology, cardiovascular diseases, the main diseases that contribute to the causes of mortality. There are many breakthroughs here from the point of view of science, but not all of them are available in Russia from the point of view of development. And here we have to buy some of the products from foreign partners.

How are things in Russia with the import substitution of foreign products?Import substitution is a fairly old program implemented in our country.

It is initially aimed at replacing some of the foreign drugs and products from the category of critically important for the healthcare system. Unfortunately, the program started quite a long time ago, but it is impossible to say unequivocally that it was successful. Some of the goals were achieved, some were not. Since it started in a fairly long historical perspective, a large number of products have already appeared on the market that have made it obsolete.

Are there drugs on the Russian market that have no analogues in the world and where are they used?There are drugs that were created within the framework of the Soviet and modern Russian scientific school, they cannot be used abroad for various reasons.

But this does not mean that foreign partners cannot reproduce them, it's just a slightly different school and, accordingly, a slightly different approach. Roughly speaking, we cannot offer something absolutely unique to the world market in the country right now. At the same time, we cannot say that we are among the laggards. There are many examples when Russia made the most important drugs one of the first. This can include a vaccine against coronavirus infection. Russia was one of the five countries that were able to quickly produce this drug on an industrial scale.

There is a myth that more expensive imported drugs are better than domestic ones, is it true?Unfortunately, there is such a belief, and indeed there are examples when foreign drugs within the line of analogues are better in some characteristics.

But most often, both Russian and foreign drugs are made from raw materials that are of Chinese or Indian origin. There are cases when a Russian analogue is made from the same raw materials as a foreign one that enters the Russian Federation. Of course, there are many nuances related to production technology, auxiliary substances, and so on. This does not mean that one drug is worse and the other is better. It is more likely that one drug is suitable, and the other is not. For example, a person is allergic to potato starch, which was part of a Russian preparation, and a complete foreign analogue was produced using corn starch, which that person could use. That is, up to this. The issue of quality does not depend on geographical origin at all, it is a matter of control and production system.

Now in many areas in Russia, taking into account the sanctions, they make certain concessions during inspections. Is there such a practice in the field of pharmaceutical production now?I have not heard of any indulgences being granted.

The healthcare system is one of the most regulated in terms of the possibility of control. Another thing is that the control system that currently exists in Russia regarding drugs is also imperfect on a number of issues and requires modernization. This does not mean that she is bad, among the world she is more in the top than in the laggards, but she has a lot to develop.

Against the background of sanctions, is there a tendency to reduce the assortment?The healthcare system primarily has a humanitarian function.

It has never been, is not and should not be the subject of sanctions. Another thing is that the current crisis is unique. There have been cases when some companies joined such sanctions for one reason or another, but such cases were isolated. We are not talking about vital drugs, which have a fairly large number of analogues.

There were other measures of influence within the framework of sanctions, which are mainly related to the promotion of medicines in Russia, with the suspension of investment programs, localization of production, conducting clinical trials. There are these limitations, but they are not of a critical nature. I think this situation should normalize in the near future.

As for the assortment, there is now a decrease in demand. This is due, among other things, to a decrease in consumer activity. Of course, companies react to this and many foreign enterprises are engaged in cleaning their product portfolios. They analyze whether it makes sense to sell certain drugs on the Russian market simply because there are examples when an analogue from the Russian Federation appears, which displaces 80-90% of foreign-made products. There is also such a thing. But these are not mass examples, we are talking about several dozen names.

What drugs have increased demand in Russia since the beginning of the year and what is the reason for this?The demand for medicines depends on many factors.

Firstly, we have seasonal diseases, respectively, the demand for drugs for their treatment increases depending on the time of year. So, in the autumn-winter period, the demand for medicines for colds is growing, in the summer - for all kinds of food poisoning, allergies. These spikes and peaks are there. In addition, from time to time, the demand for drugs for the treatment of COVID-19 increases.

Another important factor at the moment is associated with partial mobilization. So, in Russia, the demand for certain drugs has increased: painkillers, hemostatic and all kinds of medical devices - tourniquets and more.

Read more interesting news in our Telegram channelAuthor: Alexander Baigazin

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