Sanofi plans to join Russian manufacturing project

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Russia

Sanofi-Aventis plans to participate with a Russian state-owned corporation in a project to attract innovative drug manufacturers to the country, using its insulin facility as a pilot initiative.

The Russian government has prioritised localising drug manufacturers in the country, attracting high technology platforms, creating a proper supplier network and providing producers with sufficient resources. As part of this effort it has launched the “Pharmpolis Project” which Sanofi plans to contribute to.

Under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding Sanofi signed with Prominvest, a fully owned subsidiary of the Russian state corporation Rostekhnologii, the big pharma will use its insulin facility to help the project.

Today represents an important milestone for Sanofi-Aventis in its commitment and collaboration with the Russian Federation,” ​explained Christopher Viehbacher, CEO of​Sanofi-Aventis.

Viehbacher added that Sanofi wants to ensure patients suffering from severe conditions, such as diabetes, are diagnosed quickly and treated with innovative drugs at affordable prices. The manufacturing of insulin in Russia is viewed as “a major step towards achieving this goal.​”

Sanofi’s participation in the project and its insulin production facility are important aspects of Russia’s attempts to boost locally produced medicines. Currently around 75 per cent of the Russian market is supplied by imports, according to an Espicom report, and the government is hoping to reduce this figure.

However, the September 2009 report, which valued the Russian market at $11.6bn (€7.7bn) in 2009, raises concerns about foreign companies operating in the country. It lists corruption, bureaucracy, counterfeiting and poor data confidentiality as major problems in Russia.

Furthermore, the report claims that “government officials and politicians often discriminate in favour of the domestic industry, and enforcement of existing rules is often weak​”.

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