Ekaterina Priezzheva, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation
Photo: Julia PYKHALOVA
At the Russia-Africa forum, Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Ekaterina Priezzheva visited the open studio of Radio Komsomolskaya Pravda, where she spoke about the prospects of developing cooperation with African countries in the production of medicines.
“THIS IS GREAT POTENTIAL”
– Ekaterina Gennadievna, tell me, can Russia become an exporter of drugs to Africa and what drugs can be the most in demand, in your opinion?
– Russia is already an exporter of medicines to Africa. During the past 2022, more than $62 million worth of Russian medicines were exported to African countries. The main consumers of our medicines are Nigeria, Congo, Uganda, Algeria, Morocco… The domestic pharmaceutical industry has a fairly large potential, the skills allow us both to offer and supply popular medicines there, and to transfer technologies and locate Russian production there. .
– That is, does the Russian pharmaceutical industry have projects related to the construction of companies in Africa?
– Yes. For example, the project that is currently being implemented in Algeria is the Russian company Geropharm, which produces insulin there. Production is located at the site of the state pharmaceutical company in the city of Constantine, 120 thousand vials of genetically modified human insulins have already been produced.
– If we talk about cooperation between Russia and Africa in the field of epidemiological diseases. Is there such a possibility and what are its prospects?
– Now, as I said, we are supplying medicines there. For example, the most demanded vaccine is the one for the prevention of yellow fever and, in principle, we are also ready to supply there other immunobiological preparations that are required.
– And if we talk about our country, the issue of labeling: what new product groups will be labeled in Russia in the near future?
– As of September 1, the labeling of five new product groups will be launched. These are biologically active food supplements, antiseptics, medical products, wheelchairs and soft drinks.
As part of the expansion of the range of labeled products, voluntary experiments are being carried out. Now such an experiment is being carried out regarding caviar. The plans also include children’s items, we are now agreeing on a list of children’s products on which the experiment will be carried out.
– How does the issue of labeling affect foreign cooperation?
– We are actively developing labeling within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union, all EAEU partner countries participate in the project. An agreement was signed on the labeling of goods in the territory of the Union, there is a basic model that regulates the issues of interaction of the information of the national labeling systems in the framework of cross-border trade within the EAEU. General labeling approaches have already been defined across the Union for eight product groups. In addition, work is underway to ensure the recognition of Russian marking codes in Uzbekistan.
– How do we deal with counterfeit products?
– I think that the government’s decision to launch the labeling of five new product groups was due, among other things, to the results we have now. Because we look at the effects of reducing the proportion of illegal circulation and violations in all product groups that are now labelled. I’ll give you some numbers. Since the introduction of labeling on tobacco products, this is 2019, we have reduced the proportion of illegal billing by a quarter, from 15.6 to 12.2 percent. The share of illegal turnover in footwear products was reduced by a third. The share of illegal tire rotation has been cut by more than half. We had very good results after the introduction of dairy labeling. Overall, since the introduction of labeling, we have reduced the number of violations recorded in the system by a factor of three, more than halved the sale of expired shelf-life products, and reduced by almost 66% those products whose volume and legal origin of raw materials. So there are effects and labeling has really proven to be a tool to combat illegal products.
There is an effect. And it comes after all the tagging stages are implemented. According to the business, we are implementing it very carefully so that the business is comfortable.
– At the same time, there were so many fears, there was so much fear among the manufacturers…
– Indeed, for the introduction of marking, it is necessary to prepare a production site, set up internal information systems and install the necessary equipment. However, those companies that began to prepare in advance did not face serious problems. Difficulties of manufacturers applying to the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia and the Operator-TsRPT are resolved on an individual basis.