Russian medicines could be produced in Azerbaijan
By Nigar Orujova
Expanding pharmaceutical relations between Azerbaijan and Russia is actively discussed at all levels of legislative and executive power, in both Russia and Azerbaijan, says Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Sergei Tsyb.
Tsyb made the remark at a forum on September 18 titled “Russia – Azerbaijan Pharmaceutical and medical industry today and tomorrow,” organized in the framework of the XXI International Exhibition “Public Health”.
“Both economic and political fields and the close relations between our countries suggest that prerequisites to the development of relations in the pharmaceutical industry can be clearly effective in certain areas, where we can together find a mutually benefit, including investment solutions,” the deputy minister said.
The first aspect in the development of relations in the pharmaceutical field is an increase in the export of Russian medicines to Azerbaijan, he said.
“Today, Russia is in second place for the import of medicines to Azerbaijan. We hold about 15 percent of the medicine market in Azerbaijan. In this regard, Russian companies have all the possibilities to increase their capacity in terms of the results that Russia has in the framework of the state program for the development of the pharmaceutical and medical industry. We have learned to make a large enough group of complex medicines in four or five years, and we have something to offer Azerbaijan in this regard,” said Tsyb.
However, at present, Azerbaijan and Russia should aim not only to increase the supply of medicines from Russia to Azerbaijan, but also to find possible common ground in terms of joint ventures, namely enterprises for the production of Russian medicines in Azerbaijan, the deputy minister said.
“Today there are grounds to say that successful projects can be created in this area, taking into account that Azerbaijan's dependence on medicine imports, which is unfortunately very sizeable. Of course, there are large areas [industrial parks] in Azerbaijan, where Russian companies could organize joint production. This includes the production of widely consumed and various other medicines. Also, in the future it will be possible to talk about the production of medicines of complex composition,” Tsyb stressed.
The pharmaceutical market of Azerbaijan remains attractive for Russian pharmaceutical companies, as Azerbaijan produces only a miniscule share of medicine, with the overwhelming majority imported. Over 4,560 drugs passed state registration in Azerbaijan in 2014.
All medicine imported into the country are inspected before reaching pharmacies and hospitals. Azerbaijan bans the import of drugs to the country without a license, permission, or other relevant documents.
Earlier, the Azerbaijani government had strengthened state control over the pharmaceutical market in an effort to regulate this important segment of economy.
The Tariff Council has reduced prices for over 1,000 medicines so far, which would ultimately have an effect on cutting prices overall. A list of these medicines is available on the Council’s website.
Prices for all medicines on sale in Azerbaijan will be adjusted until the middle of next year.
Today, 57 percent of medicines registered in Azerbaijan are produced in Europe, 26 percent in the CIS countries, including 12 percent from Russia. A small proportion of medicines consumed in Azerbaijan are produced in Asian countries.
Moreover, Iran also expressed interest to open a plant in Azerbaijan for pharmaceutical production. The plant could meet the demand for medicines in the domestic market, and the production could also be exported.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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