What we do to reduce dependence on drug imports

  16 October 2022    Read: 732
 What we do to reduce dependence on drug imports

Drug supply safety has become a global problem. As humanity has recently faced numerous viral diseases and pandemics, countries must urgently think about solving the problem and start taking crucial steps towards ensuring drug safety.

Emil Hajiyev, Head of the Department for Investment and Economic Analysis at the Agency for Development of Economic Zones, touched on several interesting points while talking to AzVision.az about the work we do to ensure drug safety and pharmaceutical production in Azerbaijan.

‘The Pirallahi Industrial Park was established by an order of Mr. President. The park has clear objectives and priority fields. Along with the food industry, the main field at the PIP is pharmaceuticals. As the industrial park was launched, we started meeting intensively with investors to develop pharmaceutics in the country. The park already has 5 entrepreneurs and 5 investment projects with resident status. Two of them, R-Pharm and Diamed Co, have already started operating. R-Pharm produces preventive and treatment drugs for diabetic patients.

Diamed Co produces disposable syringes. The companies sell their products on the domestic market. Our objective is to cover the needs of the domestic market and reduce dependance on foreign countries. We have granted residency to Medtest LLC this year, which is also a diabetes-oriented project. They produce glucose meters, devices for measuring blood sugar. They are about to finalize the engineering stage and will soon start implementing the project and constructing the buildings for manufacturing.’

- Which other foreign companies can we cooperate with? How interesting can it be for both of us?

‘Why can this industrial park be more attractive for pharmaceutics manufacturers? The state has established Pirallahi Park. It offers numerous concessions to drug producers, as it boasts fully state-provided infrastructure. I mean internal roads, electricity grid, potable and technical water, gas, hydro-optic cables, and other communication lines. If anyone should decide to start a medical production at the park, they will already have saved lots of time and money.

Following the model of other industrial parks, we are also offering tax incentives for pharm manufacturers. They are exempt from land and property tax, as well as the 20-per cent profit tax in the country for 10 years after registration. If they wish to import devices, tech, equipment, or ready-made production lines from other countries, they are fully exempt from import-customs duties for 7 years and VAT for 10.

Russian capital-based R-Pharm started their production here precisely because they wanted to benefit from these favourable conditions. It is an export-oriented pharm company with a large market in Russia and one of the first residents at Pirallahi Industrial Park.

We have had discussions with several companies from Turkey, Israel, Norway, Hungary, Germany and others. One of the production enterprises has established close cooperation with French Sevier. We have had negotiations with Hungary’s Gedeon Richter, where we discussed promoting their products here and using their patents and know-how at the Pirallahi Industrial Park. We are continuing meetings with investors or companies who have had their say in the global pharmaceuticals market. We negotiate to invite them to Azerbaijan, setting up production, transferring their expertise and know-how to local investors and entrepreneurs, putting that know-how to use at the PIP and establishing domestic production.’

- Do we cooperate or are we planning to with the Central Asian countries, who we have been intensifying relations with?

‘We have been discussing food supplements rather than pharmaceuticals with Central Asia. We want to establish local production at the PIP. We might start producing food supplements domestically if the project is planned well.’

- Generics production, where companies import components of branded drugs and build an analogue, is quite popular in the world. What projects can we think about in this field?

‘We do not impose any restrictions regarding pharm production at the PIP, be it generics or drugs by the brands we mentioned above. We encourage, welcome, and invite pharm products. Generics are indeed quite popular in the world. We, too, are happy to evaluate and support projects in this field.’


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