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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Seeks to Boost Drug Production

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday called for boosting the share of medicine produced by local companies to at least 50 percent of total sales within three years, from 20 percent now.

“Overseas drugs are often sold in Russia at prices that are several times higher than in other countries,” Putin said at a meeting on the pharmaceuticals industry in Zelenograd.

He said the difference was impossible to explain, since transportation costs were no more than 0.2 percent of total costs. About 350 Russian companies produce pharmaceuticals, Putin said.

Pharmstandard, the country’s largest, accounted for 4.8 percent of retail drug sales in the first half, according to Pharmexpert. Germany’s Bayer had 3.8 percent of sales, followed by Italy’s Menarini Group and Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis, with 3.6 percent each.

The government spends $7.8 billion per year on drug purchases, Putin said.