Russia makes pharma industry upgrades a priority

Equipment makers and facility builders, take note: old equipment and ancient facilities are the cause of Russia's dismal pharma quality reputation and poor industry presence. That's according to Denis Manturov, deputy industry and trade minister. "There's a lag in the technological development of facilities needed to manufacture competitive products in accordance with international standards," he tells the Moscow Times.

Manturov need not fear official reprisal for his comments. President Dmitry Medvedev himself has declared pharma industry modernization one of five key priorities.

Pharma 2020 is the government's intended fix. The goal is to raise the share of domestically produced medicines to 50 percent over the next decade, from the current 23 percent. Among the means: modernizing factory equipment and removing administrative barriers to drug registration.

The government plans almost $6 billion in industry-wide investment over that period in training and infrastructure development, GMP practice development and R&D. It wants to take advantage of the market that is growing 10 percent to 12 percent annually on average--especially when it see stats reflecting that, as of 2007, only one out of every five drugs purchased in Russia was produced domestically. And only one of the top 20 producers of drugs sold domestically was a Russian firm--Pharmstandart.

- here's the article