Western pharmaceutical companies still offer medicines to Russia

Although Western sanctions and other measures pose hurdles, healthcare companies say they have an obligation to continue to supply medicines, vaccines and medical devices to Russia.

The Ukrainian invasion has left Western automakers, luxury suppliers and other companies out of Russia. However, as some pharmaceutical and device companies have said, drug, vaccine and medical device manufacturers continue to operate, stating that they are ethically responsible. Counter aggression and reduction operations.

“If our products don’t reach patients in need, people will die or have serious consequences,” Joseph Wolk, Chief Financial Officer of Johnson & Johnson, said at an investor meeting on Tuesday. “.

Johnson & Johnson, which sells pharmaceuticals and medical devices, will continue to offer what it claims to be an essential product in Russia.AmerisourceBergen, a drug distributor Ltd

Although the new business in Russia has stopped, it will continue to distribute certain anticancer drugs and end clinical trials, he said.

Bayer AG

The drug and crop sector is still active in Russia, according to a spokesman for the company. The removal of seeds, pesticides and other products will exacerbate the food shortages resulting from the conflict, due to the important role of Ukraine and Russia in the world’s wheat supply.

AmerisourceBergen said it will continue to distribute certain anti-cancer drugs and end clinical trials in Russia.


Kristoffer Tripplaar / Sipa USA / Associated Press

“Stopping childbirth in patients with cancer or cardiovascular is not ethically justified and will have a significant impact on Russian citizens,” a spokesman said.

According to analysts and businesses, Russia is not a big market for Western healthcare companies. Russia imported about $ 700 million in US medicine last year. To S & P Global Of a corporation

Market intelligence unit.

However, according to Moscow-based market research firm RNC Pharma, about 80% to 85% of Russian-made medicines depend on imported ingredients, and Russian pharmaceutical companies struggle to import key ingredients. Says Pavel Rasshchupkin, RNC’s commercial director. ..

According to Rasshchupkin, there is no shortage of medicines so far, but the devaluation of the ruble has raised prices and the pharmacies are hoarding.

Ukrainians endure the pain of separation and continue to fight under Russian attacks

In Kyiv, Ukrainians used sandbags to create barriers to prepare for the expected fierce battle. Meanwhile, Russian troops intensified their attacks with missiles and shells.

A funeral for three Ukrainian soldiers at the historic Church of the Most Holy Paul in Lviv on Friday.

Justyna Mielnikiewicz / MAPS for the Wall Street Journal



Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed new “anti-crisis” measures, including policies aimed at increasing the supply of domestically manufactured medicines and medical devices, including an option to ban the export of certain medicines. did. The law did not specify a vaccine.

Many Western pharmaceutical companies have expressed opposition to Russia’s invasion, expressed support for Ukrainians, and issued statements to make donations to support Ukraine and refugees.

Merck & Co. , Pfizer Ltd

And Bristol Myers Squibb Ltd

Most active in Russia, is among the pharmaceutical companies that say they have suspended enrollment in clinical trials in Russia.

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Bayer and other large companies selling over-the-counter medicines and healthcare-related consumer goods have said they have withdrawn ads from Russia. Russia has banned direct consumer advertising of prescription drugs.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC said it would not enter into contracts to support Russian government or the military, such as a contract to vaccinate the military’s immune drive. Royal Philips NV has stopped selling consumer products such as electric toothbrushes in Russia, but a spokesman said to supply ongoing medical equipment.

Jeremy Levin, Chief Executive Officer of Ovid Therapeutics, said: Ltd

And one of the authors of the letter. The pledge made an exception to the transportation of medicines.

Pharmaceutical companies also say they are working to protect their employees and ensure that their medicines reach Russian patients.

Bayer said removing seeds, pesticides and other products would exacerbate the food shortages that result from the conflict. Bayer’s factory in Wuppertal, Germany.


Ina Fassbender / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images

So far, companies have not reported significant disruption to their supply chains or businesses in Russia. Official sanctions do not cover health products. However, sanctions are forcing companies to scramble to deliver their products, which could cause further confusion in the future. According to supply chain experts and industry insiders.

European, Canadian and US airlines have suspended flights to Russia in response to aggression and airspace bans, blocking air cargo options. Major shipping companies have suspended freight routes to Russia and closed another trade route.

“Sanctions can and are likely to affect Russian medicines,” said Julie Swan, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at North Carolina State University, pointing out sea and air cargo cuts. did. Russia, perhaps through countries like China and India, she said.

Goods can enter Russia by road, but many pharmaceutical companies have previously sent goods via Ukraine, said Koen Berden, director of international affairs at the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Regulations. ..

For example, rerouting trade via Belarus requires companies to introduce new procedures to address various practices and other regulatory requirements. Dr. Baden said:

Prashant Yadav, a supply chain expert at a non-profit global development center, said U.S. companies will continue to serve medicines and serve the Russian market unless they work with additional supply chain intermediaries to manage supply and transactions. He said it was difficult to do.

Write to Denise Roland (Denise.Roland@wsj.com), Jared S. Hopkins (jared.hopkins@wsj.com), Peter Loftus (peter.loftus@wsj.com)

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