Willing Russians help Big Pharma move into market there

As Russia tries to build its drugmaking infrastructure, it is finding that its citizens are anxious to help by participating in clinical trials. The New York Times reports that while many of the trials are for lower-risk testing of generic drugs, candidates are willingly coming forward. And Big Pharma is glad, since a law passed there in 2010 requires foreign drugmakers to test drugs on Russians before selling to them. The result is that the number of drugs tested on Russians has been dramatically increasing, The Times says. Regulators there approved 448 clinical trials in the first half of this year, more than twice the 201 approved a year earlier. Russia is seen as a prime market and a number of big companies, like Novartis ($NVS) and Stada are investing there, partly because Russia pretty much requires it. At BIO 2012, officials from Russia laid out some of their thoughts on building their drug market. "We are optimistic in terms of investment, not just by private companies, but also we plan to channel all or most of the government support for technological projects and business," said Oleg Fomichev, Russia's deputy minister for economic development. The Russian government has started to do its part by doubling health expenditures per capita and investing in infrastructure to attract foreign investors. Story | More