Pharmexcil moots more India-Russia pharma ties for self-reliance

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The Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil) has pitched for greater collaboration between the pharma industries in India and Russia to achieve self-reliance in both countries.

An Indian delegation led by R Uday Bhaskar, Director-General, Pharmexcil, participated in the recently held 27th St Petersburg Economic Forum meeting.

“We have conveyed that by combining our strengths, India and Russia can create a powerful partnership that will enable both the nations to reduce our dependence on imports of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) by synergising each other’s efforts and policy measures towards self-reliance,’’ Bhaskar told.

Indian pharma’s $130-billion Vision 2030 target and Russia’s Pharma Policy 2030 aim to increase their respective global footprint.

“There is scope to strengthen our supply chains and ensure the availability of affordable medicines for all, and develop and produce new and innovative drugs to meet the unmet medical needs of our populations,’’ he added.

Strong presence

The collaborations between Indian and Russian industry is on a strong note, Bhaskar said. In the last three years, around 20 Indian companies are in engagements with Russian entities to set up their manufacturing units. The major areas of collaboration are in strengthening local manufacturing capacities for API, injectables, anti-cancer medicines, and hormonal products, among others.

“Notably about half of these engagements have been initiated by small and medium enterprises, which are enthusiastic to tap the opportunities available in Russia and expanding their business relations to that region,’’ he said.

Russia has a strong research and development base in the pharma and vaccines sector and is home to many leading pharmaceutical companies.

In the near- to mid-term horizon, the Russian domestic market presents substantial prospects for pharmaceutical manufacturers because of its Pharma 2030 policy, he said.

“Additionally, establishing a generics manufacturing hub in Russia offers ancillary advantages, contributing to the overall growth and sustainability of the collaboration between the two nations in the pharmaceutical industry,’’ Bhaskar said.

Pharmexcil entered into an MoU with Roscongress Foundation in December 2023 for the development of pharmaceutical and related industries.

Areas in which India and Russia can collaborate for self-reliance in pharmaceuticals include technology transfer and capacity building; setting up of a special economic zone especially for APIs and building a ‘bulk drug park’; exchange of knowledge in the latest advancements in biologicals, vaccines, drug delivery device, and modified dosage for more efficacious and cost-effective forms; and joint research and development of new drugs and vaccines, among others, according to Pharmexcil.

India and Russia together hold 12-13 per cent of the $484-billion global generics market, and both countries have introduced policy interventions to address import dependency on API/pharmaceuticals.

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