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India is looking to leverage its pharmaceutical manufacturing to fill a drugs supply gap in Russia that has been hit by western sanctions.

The Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) has told the Indian Drugs Manufacturing Association (IDMA) to encourage companies to grasp the opportunity and establish themselves as reliable partners in the Russian market.

As part of the strategy an Indian pharmaceutical delegation will be leaving for Russia next month to hold meetings with Russian counterparts.

Russia was the fourth largest export destination for Indian pharma in FY22 with exports of $597.81 million (1.21% growth rate). The Russias pharma market ($19.42 billion) is the largest in Central & Eastern Europe with generic market size of $8.6 billion.

“During the world’s toughest times, the Indian pharmaceutical industry has demonstrated remarkable commitment by supplying medicine to over 200 countries. The Indian pharmaceutical industry is well-known in Russia and is regarded as a reliable partner. India can play an important role going forward — a reliable supplier of quality assured, differentiated and affordable medicine for Russia," said Sudarshan Jain, Secretary General, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance.

“Russia-India have a very fruitful relation (in pharma) since the time we established Indian Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Ltd. with Russian technology. That is the basis for Indian pharma to grow. From those days, we have been closely working with them with most of the Indian companies. After Dr Reddy’s Lab now we have Sun Pharma, Hetero, Cipla and they have a very strong connect with Russian importers," said Udaya Bhaskar, director general, Pharmexcil.

Experts said Indian companies can grow their businesses as Russian drug makers are increasingly looking towards the Indian pharma industry for supplies in areas such as anti-diabetic drugs, anti-cancer drugs, auto immune drugs, anti-retroviral drugs, cardio vascular drugs and medical instruments.

They also said that it’s a great opportunity to collaborate with the prominent and new importers, retailers, distributor, wholesalers and partners from Russia.

Russian trade representatives in India have provided a list of medical devices for which they seek to find reliable suppliers in India, said Rajiv Nath, forum coordinator, Association of Indian Manufacturers of Medical Devices.

“We have informed our members companies and I think some of our members will go, but they are little worried about this ongoing war just in case if it escalates...that is the only concern. The scope of doing business with Russia is excellent now... but having said that we have to sure about the payment part, on which TPCI can help, they can come out with some system," said Darra Patel, IDMA General Secretary.

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