Speaking at the round table “Manufacturing of Substances in Russia,” Liliya Titova, the Executive Director of the Union of Professional Pharmaceutical Organizations said that after the collapse of the Soviet Union most Russian enterprises producing pharmaceutical substances were closed as they became economically unviable in the face of more competitive products from India and China. Today, the imports of pharmaceutical substances to Russia amount to more than 2000 tons annually. In 2016, Russia imported 749 substances worth 61 billion rubles from 40 countries. However, the era of cheap Chinese-made substances is coming to an end. China is experiencing a dramatic rise of prices for these products. Over the past 5 years, the price for the substance levomycetin jumped from $13 to $50-60 per kilogram. As a result, reviving the synthesis of pharmaceutical substances in Russia becomes a matter of national security.
“As part of the state program, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia supported the development of 132 medicinal products, including 65 projects aimed at implementing the manufacturing of pharmaceutical substances,” said Olga Makarkina, Head of the Pharmaceutical Industry Development Office, Pharmaceutical and Medical Industry Development Department of the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry. “Among 12 projects supported in 2015-2016, 6 were the projects for manufacturing the pharmaceutical substances. Currently, 241 out of 642 INNs of medicinal products included in the list of Vital and Essential Drugs (VED) are produced from Russian-made substances.” As of January 1, 2017, the license to manufacture only the substances was granted to 36 companies, which does not include those producing finished dosage forms along with the substances. “We reimburse the expenses on lease payments for equipment,” said Olga Makarkina. “Last year we introduced changes in order to expand the list of subsidized projects and support more companies.”