OCT took part in the annual biggest event in the world of biotechnology – BIO International Convention, which was celebrating its 20 years anniversary this year.
The event gathered more than 15’000 industry leaders from about 65 countries all over the world. Being one of the biggest grounds for communication between pharmaceutical and biotechnology experts, scientists, businessmen and government representatives, BIO Convention has become a “must-attend” event that OCT business development team has been participating since 2009.
This year, OCT was represented by Dmitriy Sharov, President, Head of Business Development, and two business development managers - Natalia Salamova and Anna Davydova.
Participation in events of such scale is especially timely for the Russian pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry representatives, not only due to the obvious business opportunities. One of the most expected and topical issues that were under discussion during the BIO International Convention this year was Russia and its “Pharma 2020” strategy realization. It is well known that today Russia is a country with one of the most rapidly growing pharmaceutical markets in the world, which attracts high interest from international pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies. However, this interest is characterized by both fear and hunger for perspectives.
After the “Pharma 2020” strategy of Development of the Pharmaceutical Industry of the Russian Federation had been implemented, the new beginning of the Russian pharma industry was announced.
On the one hand, the Russian pharmaceutical industry used to be practically not present on the international markets. In 2007 the export of the nationally produced medicines did not exceed USD 200 million which was less than 0.04% of the world medicine sales. The reason for that was the absence of GMP harmonized standards. In 2009, only around 10% of Russian pharma companies worked in accordance to GMP standards. The issue of standard harmonization still remains open. There are plans to fully convert the national pharma production to GMP standards by 2014.
The Russian pharmaceutical industry was strongly concentrated – 10 major companies produced 30% of all national medicines.
Fortunately, the situation has changed within the last two years – cooperation between the Russian and foreign pharma companies is developing rapidly, international companies are moving their production to Russia. Nevertheless, entering our market still represents some kind of a challengefor international pharmaceutical companies, considering the current situation and the local peculiarities: the complexity of drug registration procedures for the national producers; lack of support for pharmaceutical companies by the public procurement system; actual absence of the obligatory pharmaceutical production process requirements and control – these are only a few “environmental” shortcomings that international companies face in the Russian market.
However, the “Pharma 2020” strategy aims to fix the situation within the coming years. The Strategy refers to the international experience that is supposed to help upgrade the national pharma industry. This is definitely a positive message for the international pharma business: this is a promise to provide favourable market conditions to the international pharmaceutical companies encouraging them to bring new technologies and production to Russia.
Big international industrial events like BIO Convention stimulate collaboration between Russian and international pharmaceutical companies, helping establish business relations and partnerships. Organizations like OCT with its strong local expertise, confident position in the Russian market and experience in international cooperation, is always eager to assist foreign pharmaceutical companies entering our market by the provision of consulting and a full range of clinical research services.