By Nadezhda Rodionova
After the USSR’s collapse, the Republic faced difficulties in ensuring steady medical supplies for the population. Accordingly, our own pharmaceutical branch was developed. At that time, only two plants were operational in Belarus: the Borisov Medical Preparations Plant and Belmedpreparaty. Jointly, they produced just over 100 varieties of drugs.
Today, 25 firms have a license to industrially manufacture medicines, with the Brest and Mogilev regions having one each. The Vitebsk Region has 3, the Grodno Region — 2, and the Minsk Region — 7. Meanwhile, eleven enterprises are situated in the capital. Each is realising investment projects to expand production facilities and to achieve technical modernisation, allowing goods to be certified in line with GMP standards.
State sci-tech programmes play a major role in this expansion, with the New Medications programme resulting in the launch of 18 new generic drugs (worth over $10m). From 2006-2010, the Import Substitution programme made it possible to master 65 drugs, including 44 listed as essential, saving over $45m in foreign currency expenditure. At the moment, 6,263 drugs are registered in Belarus, including 1,186 produced domestically.