Tatiana Kubasova, Business Development & Frontier Markets Director, AstraZeneca, Russia and Eurasia, Discusses Priorities and Regulatory Trends
In the dynamic landscape of the pharmaceutical industry, companies that adapt to changing priorities and embrace innovation are poised for success. AstraZeneca, a global leader in the field, has a presence in over 100 countries worldwide, including the diverse markets of Eurasia. Regardless of location, AstraZeneca remains steadfast in its core mission: making innovative medications more accessible to patients.
Today, we have the privilege of speaking with Tatiana Kubasova, Business Development & Frontier Markets Director, AstraZeneca, Russia and Eurasia. She shares insights into the company’s priorities in the Eurasian region, where they see the most promising opportunities, and the pivotal role they play in enhancing patient lives.
Let’s delve into Tatiana’s perspective on AstraZeneca’s strategy and the evolving pharmaceutical landscape in Eurasia.
What are the priorities for your company in the Eurasia region? In which countries and what segments do you see the most prospects for your company?
Today AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries. In each region the company is focused on creating genuinely innovative medicines and improving access to them. There are millions of people suffering from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other serious chronic diseases in Eurasia. We firmly believe that modern therapies can improve the quality and life expectancy of these people.
AstraZeneca’s presence in Eurasia comprises Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, and we’re constantly working to develop our presence in this region. Having started operations in Uzbekistan in 2021, we managed to register several medicines for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and bronchial asthma. Our next step is to offer the treatment for rare diseases, oncology and oncohematology for patients in Uzbekistan. Above all, we continue to update the existing pipeline with the new indications.
What trends having the most impact on pharmaceutical markets in the countries of the Eurasian region do you highlight for your company?
Today we are witnessing a significant growth in EAEU markets where the pharmaceutical industry was not much developed before, including Uzbekistan. It is due to the low base effect that the market is not yet saturated with the new drugs, which makes it attractive for international companies. We expect the highest growth of the Uzbekistan pharmaceutical market in the next few years.
It is very important to note that the market growth without proper regulation can become dangerous for patients. Hence low-quality medicines can freely enter pharmacies, leading to possible adverse events for the citizens. Therefore, despite the existing prospects, international investors will not be ready to enter the market, given the absence of proper control and compliance for all market players. In this regard, there is an urgent need not only to apply all international requirements and rules of the pharmaceutical industry in Uzbekistan, but also to constantly monitor their compliance. That is why it is necessary to solve the industry regulation issue at the government level, which would ensure the safety of medicines.
What planned regulatory changes may affect the development of the pharmaceutical markets in the Eurasian region?
There is no doubt that the introduction of pharmaceutical drug labelling will have a significant impact on the region’s pharmaceutical market. Russia was the first country in Eurasia to introduce the drug labelling. Therefore, companies that have experience in working with the Russian labelling project will have a technological advantage in other Eurasian markets.
As for Uzbekistan, we expect strengthening of the government regulation in terms of certification and distribution since decent pharmaceutical logistics and distribution is impossible without the abidance by the Good Distribution Practice (GDP) rules, especially considering the region’s climate. Undoubtedly, it is also important to toughen the responsibility of pharmacies for the sale of low-quality and counterfeit medicines.
We are also awaiting the speedy introduction of a health insurance system in Uzbekistan. This will enable a successful investment in the modernization and expansion of the medical care services from diagnosis to access to medicines. Today, patients in Uzbekistan must pay for some services and medicines, which can affect diagnosis and medical care, hence a patient may simply not buy the necessary medication, and therefore not start their treatment. As a result, this may lead to the disease progression and become a heavy burden for the healthcare system in general. That is why we believe that pharmaceutical industry representatives cannot be excluded and must be involved in the pilot projects to boost the timely implementation of the health insurance system in Uzbekistan.