The share of public procurement in the overall structure of drug sales in Russian pharmaceutical market has reached 34.4% in the first half of 2019, which became a historical record figure for the country and its pharmaceutical market since the collapse of the USSR, according to a recent study, conducted by DSM Group, one of Russia’s leading pharma analysts, reports The Pharma Letter’s local correspondent.
At present, state procurement provides a major driver for the growth of the Russian pharmaceutical market. This is reflected by statistics for the first half of 2019, provided by DSM Group, according to which drug sales in Russian pharmacies grew by only 0.7% on year-on-year basis compared to +27% in the case of public procurements.
One of the reasons for this is the recent expanding of the number of state programs in Russia, regulating drug public procurements. One such program is known as “7 high-cost nosologies,” the total value of which is estimated at 40 billion roubles ($619 million) and which involves purchases of the most expensive drugs for state needs.
In the meantime, in addition to the largest cities of the country – particular Moscow and St Petersburg – there is also the growth of drug public procurement in the vast Russian province.
Still, despite the growth of state purchases, the overall dynamics of growth of drug sales in the Russian market for the last five years has slowed down by six times, from +16% in 2013 to only +2.6% in 2018.
The biggest sales slowdown is observed in the case of local retail, where these figures were only +2,6% in 2018.
According to predictions, this year the growth of sales in Russian pharmacies will not exceed +1,7%. Analysts explain this primarily by the reduction of real incomes of the local population. For example, according to official statistics, over the last six years, the percentage of local populations with incomes below the subsistence minimum in Russia has increased from 12.5% in 2012 to 13.2% in 2018 and currently continues to decline.
Share of counterfeits to decline 10-fold in Russia thanks to introduction of new labeling practice
Meantime, the share of illegal and counterfeit drugs in the Russian pharmaceutical market may decline almost 10-fold within the next several years, thanks to the recently initiated procedure of their labeling, which officially began on October 1, according to recent statements, made by analysts and some senior officials of the Russian Ministry of Health.
At the initial stage, labeling will only apply to those drugs, which are purchased in Russia under the 7 nosologies state program, while later it will be expanded to other drugs.
According to the Russian Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova, the practice of labeling proved its efficiency during the pilot experiments for its use in the Russian pharma market earlier this year.
Ms Skvortsova has also said the next step involves the beginning of massive labeling of all drugs, available in the Russian market, which will begin in three months, starting from January 1, 2020.
In the meantime, despite the existing advantages some of the local producers and global drugmakers, operating in Russia have already criticized the new labeling procedure, believing that it will lead to a significant increase in their costs.