14 June 2024


The ‘Ensuring Drug Security’ Russian Pharmaceutical Forum took place on the opening day of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The event was organized by the Roscongress Foundation with the support of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation and the State Duma Committee on Health Protection.

The business programme of the Drug Security Forum included 14 expert discussions attended by over 140 experts. In addition, a round table was held for BRICS regulators of the circulation of medical products, who also took part in a meeting with representatives of the pharmaceutical industry.

The key event of the Forum was the plenary session, which was attended by Minister of Health of the Russian Federation Mikhail Murashko, Director of the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency Daniel Pereira, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Ekaterina Priezzheva, Executive Director of the BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry Prann Sharma, First Deputy Head of the Federal Medical-Biological Agency of the Russian Federation Tatyana Yakovleva, General Manager of AstraZeneca Russia and Eurasia Irina Panarina, Director General of PSK Pharma Evgeniya Shapiro, President of the Administrative Council for Economic Defence of the Federative Republic of Brazil Alexandre Cordeiro Macedo, and State Duma Deputy and Member of the State Duma Committee on Health Protection of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Alexander Petrov. The plenary session was moderated by Director of the HSE – Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development and the International BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre of the National Research University Higher School of Economics Aleksey Ivanov.

Ensuring access to effective and high-quality drugs for patients is one of the top priorities on the drug security agenda in the expanded BRICS region. The main focuses of cooperation among BRICS nations are: biosafety issues; strengthening capacity for the development and production of vaccines; increasing the size of national drug markets and the overall share of BRICS markets in the global context; finding a balance between medicinal sovereignty and the unimpeded mutual supplies of drugs; expanding cooperation in pharmaceutical innovations; combining production and research capabilities; and optimizing regulatory procedures to simplify market access for safe and high-quality biosimilars amidst fair competition and in people’s interests. Given the current level of geopolitical turbulence today, the drug policies of BRICS member countries should focus on developing long-term partnerships.

“The recent changes in the healthcare system are hard to miss. The pandemic has taught us how to adjust, how to adapt quickly and create a system that allows us to work sustainably in any condition. We’ve got students from three quarters of the countries of the world studying medicine at Russian universities – that’s 150 countries. Communication and cooperation with other countries, including within BRICS, which unites 40 percent of the world’s population, is important. These countries have a wealth of experience in the development and production of medicines, as well as highly professional regulators with whom we naturally interact, including on international platforms,” noted Minister of Health of the Russian Federation Mikhail Murashko.

First Deputy Head of the Federal Medical-Biological Agency of the Russian Federation Tatyana Yakovleva pointed out that biomedical technologies play an important role in ensuring technological sovereignty in pharmacology: “Scientific and technological development is a strategic national priority of the Russian Federation, which will ensure the country’s independence and competitiveness. Technological sovereignty in such an important area as pharmaceuticals is of particular importance today. At the same time, drug sovereignty is the cornerstone of the national security of both individual countries and entire regions too. The Federal Medical-Biological Agency of the Russian Federation is prepared to share its experience in the development of immunobiological drugs and the creation of vaccines with the BRICS countries.” 

Director of the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency Daniel Pereira stressed the importance of close international cooperation in the provision of high-quality medicines to the population. 

“Regulation is an integral part of ensuring drug safety for the public sector. And for international cooperation too, in order to learn from each other and build up experience on this basis. Brazil has always been an active member and big supporter of the BRICS group, and events such as this one are extremely important for strengthening cooperation and identifying synergies to achieve mutually beneficial results.”

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Ekaterina Priezzheva noted “Over the past few years, the Russian pharmaceutical industry has learned how to respond to all existing challenges and threats. Our country has embarked on a course of import substitution that has already allowed us to develop a base in the pharmaceutical industry, thanks to which both generic drugs and proprietary medicines are now produced in Russia. Russian pharmaceutical companies have significantly expanded and increased production volumes, and developed the necessary competencies. Russian products are currently supplied to over 150 countries, and the list continues to grow. We are ready to develop cooperation, and we see localization of development and production in BRICS member states as a potential direction for development. In addition to mutual trade, we need to broaden cooperation in the development and production of medical drugs and products in the BRICS countries.”