Journal section "Sectoral economic studies"

Catching-Up and Outstripping Development of the Russian Pharmaceutical Industry

Gusev A.B., Yurevich M.A.

Volume 16, Issue 6, 2023

Gusev A.B., Yurevich M.A. (2023). Catching-up and outstripping development of the Russian pharmaceutical industry. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 16(6), 55–73. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2023.6.90.3

DOI: 10.15838/esc.2023.6.90.3

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The paper assesses the effectiveness of the Russian pharmaceutical industry so as to determine the prospects for achieving self-sufficiency in drug provision and pharmaceutical leadership in the domestic market, more than half of which is occupied by foreign drugs. Effectiveness is considered in terms of achievements in import substitution (catching-up scenario), and in the development of domestic drugs (outstripping scenario). A comparison of the main economic indicators for leading foreign and Russian pharmaceutical companies reflects a disadvantaged position of the latter. The governmental target setting for domestic pharmaceutical production is compromised by interdepartmental inconsistency in the lists of essential drugs. A selective analysis of the implementation of the import substitution plan by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia since 2015 has revealed that, even on formal grounds, Russia still has not established a full-fledged production of many drugs (in particular, the dependence on foreign active pharmaceutical substances still remains, and there are very few domestic manufacturing companies). The premise concerning fundamental impossibility to implement the outstripping scenario is substantiated by the fact that there is an insignificant number of original drugs for which Russian developers initiated clinical trials in 2020–2022. The results obtained show that the current situation in the Russian pharmaceutical industry does not promote the achievement of drug self-sufficiency. A proposal to consolidate assets, coordinate production programs and research agendas for accelerated and full-fledged import substitution was put forward. Prospects for research in the field of import substitution are related to deepening the analysis of production indicators, increasing sales, as well as enhancing clinical characteristics of reproduced drugs compared to foreign analogues. In the sphere of analyzing the innovativeness of pharmaceutical production, it seems advisable to methodologically elaborate on identifying original drugs and include this indicator in the industry management


public administration, drug self-sufficiency, pharmaceutical industry effectiveness, pharmaceutical import substitution

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