Pharma to pour $1B into Russian manufacturing

When you're trying to sell drugs in Russia these days, it pays to be a local. That's because the government is trying to boost local companies' share of the pharma market to 50 percent by 2020, stairstepping upward along the way. So, international drugmakers that don't already produce drugs--or at least package them--in Russia are planning to change that.

Indeed, foreign pharma is pouring money into the Russian market--at least $1 billion, by one estimate--as companies set up local production, Reuters reports. "Certainly companies have to be loyal to the government, try to build at least packaging facilities to show that they have a long-term commitment to the market," market researcher David Melik-Guseinov told the news service.

One attendant bonus to producing drugs in Russia for sale in Russia is a reduced risk of detrimental currency-price changes. "The more stages of production [a drugmaker] has [in Russia], the less the forex risk is," Julia Fedorova, a lawyer with CMS, told Reuters.

So, who's in the lead with Russian manufacturing? Helpfully, Reuters has compiled a list of drugmakers and their investments in the country. They include Novo Nordisk, which recently announced plans for its first production facility there, at a cost of up to $100 million. Sanofi-Aventis bought a controlling stake in a Russian insulin plant. Nycomed is plotting a liquid sterile products and solid medicines production facility, projected to cost up to €75 million, or $93 million. And there's more. Check it out.

- read the Reuters story
- see the Factbox for more