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26 Mar, 2024 11:36

India replaces Germany as Russia’s top medicine supplier – RBK

New Delhi has taken advantage of Western major pharma firms cutting ties with Moscow, the outlet has said 
India replaces Germany as Russia’s top medicine supplier – RBK

India emerged as Russia’s largest supplier of pharmaceuticals last year, filling the recent void left by previously dominant Western firms, RBK reported on Monday, citing data compiled by RNC Pharma.

Indian manufacturers ramped up exports by 3% last year and delivered nearly 294 million packages of medicines to Russia, replacing Germany’s, who was country’s top supplier in 2021 and 2022, the outlet said. Last year Germany slashed its supplies to Russia by almost 20% to 238.7 million packages, figures show.

Many Western pharmaceutical companies have suspended their non-essential work and investments in Russia over the Ukraine conflict. A number of major international pharma producers, including Eli Lilly, Bayer, Pfizer, MSD, and Novartis, have also halted new clinical trials in Russia.

Meanwhile, Indian pharma companies are expanding their business opportunities in Russia, including joint production ventures, RBK’s article stated. India’s pharmaceuticals industry is the world’s third largest by volume, according to the Indian government, and the country is often labeled “the world’s pharmacy.”

In 2023, Mumbai-based Oxford Laboratories alone boosted its supplies to Russia by 67% to 4.8 million packages, data showed. Its portfolio includes cardiovascular, erectile dysfunction, ophthalmic and other types of drugs. Ipca Laboratories, another large Indian pharmaceutical company specializing in generics – medicines with the same components as a drug once made only by the holder of a patent – ramped up its exports by 58%, to 13.7 million packages last year.

Some experts have pointed out that Western restrictions have actually served as an incentive to boost Russia-India bilateral cooperation in new fields, including pharmaceuticals, chemical and food industries, oil-extraction and diamond processing.

Other key medicine suppliers to Russia last year included France, which boosted its exports by 7.6% to 149.4 million packages, Hungary, with an 11.6% increase to 112.5 million packages, and Israel, which has boosted deliveries by 11% to 149.8 million packages, according to RNC Pharma.