The Russian government has developed an initiative to help boost the domestic production of innovative pharmaceuticals, which could ultimately lead to generics losing market share.
Currently, Russian manufacturers mainly produce inexpensive, low technological products; a strategy for encouraging growth in the local pharmaceutical industry for the period up to 2020 envisages the government helping local producers to cover the costs of the R&D that is required to boost production of innovative pharmaceuticals. If the objectives of the plan are realised, by 2020, the local industry will be responsible for 50% of drugs in circulation (compared with 5% in 2007), 80% of which will be innovative.
The modernisation of the local pharmaceutical industry will ensure the replacement of foreign generics with Russian equivalents and ultimately by innovative drugs of Russian origin. However, the setting up of innovative production will be a long process requiring substantial investment. Slow economic growth will remain an obstacle to funding in the short term at least. In addition, generics will remain a popular alternative to the more expensive branded pharmaceuticals whilst the country recovers from the economic downturn.
Further reading - An in-depth review of the Russian pharmaceutical market is available from Espicom: The Pharmaceutical Market: Russia (published January 2010)