By Irina Yakovleva
Speaking of the possibility of setting up production of European-branded medicines in Belarus, Mr. Dalli notes that it could be arranged. “I’m not yet in a position to comment, as we need to study the environment in which such projects are carried out in Belarus, looking at the economic landscape and approval practices. However, the establishment of the Customs Union could give Belarus an advantage,” he stresses.
The Chairman of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Mikhail Myasnikovich, adds that the European pharmaceutical market is estimated to be worth 400bn euros, so is of great interest to Belarus. “People are increasingly health-conscious, spending more money on their health,” he explains. He believes that a systematic approach to Belarus’ integration with the European Union is vital, including in the pharmaceutical sphere. “We’re building a single economic space for Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan, so it’s important that our work with the European Union is systematic. We must harmonise our approaches with those of Europe, instead of altering them,” Mr. Myasnikovich notes.
According to Mr. Myasnikovich, the European Commission delegation visit, led by the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, should kick start a systematic approach to bilateral trade and economic links, alongside sci-tech co-operation. “As everything is strictly regulated in Europe, a joint approach to harmonising standards, trade terms and research is extremely important for us,” he concludes. Meanwhile, Mr. Dalli notes that the EU would like to learn more about the production processes and existing standards in pharmaceuticals in Belarus. “We want to study them in comparison with the systems operating in Europe, to ensure the safety of such products,” he emphasises. The Commissioner notes that European drugs have their own characteristics depending on their type and the market for which they are intended.
Mr. Dalli sees cross-border partnerships, including projects to develop collaboration between clinics and hospitals in Belarus and the EU, as another promising area of co-operation. He explains that video consultations could be used between specialists from medical institutions, as a priority of European policy. “We support the e-system of knowledge exchange and experience in healthcare,” he stresses. Mr. Dalli tells us that the EU is now considering a directive to aid the movement of patients across borders. The European Union has also shown interest in co-operation on this issue.