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15 November 2017

Healthcare and life sciences review

Source: PharmaBoardroom

The Ukrainian phar­maceutical market has traditionally been considered one of the most developed in the entire post-Soviet space. This positive assessment is based on a number of factors including the existence of large pharmaceutical production facilities in Ukraine, a good educational background and, as a consequence, qualified person­nel involved in the pharmaceutical industry. The size of the Ukrainian pharmaceutical market as of 2013 exceeded USD 3.2 billion. However, the situation on the market is undergoing changes.

Proposed medical reforms, recent­ly announced by the government of Ukraine, have caused a storm of indignation among nation­al pharmaceutical manufactur­ers. First of all, this concerns the re-registration of pharmaceutical products previously authorized by the Ukrainian regulator in accord­ance with European requirements. Such “know-how” is justified by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine (MHU) by the need to harmonize the two systems – Ukrainian and European. This argument has a dual nature. On the one hand, indeed, Ukraine has signed an Association Agreement with the EU and har­monization is a part of the coun­try’s planned European integration. On the other hand, the association agreement does not provide for a rigid period for harmonization, and in the absence of a clear understand­ing of Ukraine’s future EU member­ship perspectives, it is quite difficult to see the above-mentioned “know­how” as a priority goal.

The MHU’s argument regard­ing the need for the re-registration of pharmaceutical products for national manufacturer is also quite questionable. Following the MHU’s logic, this will allow Ukrainian companies to enter Western mar­kets without impediment and thereby increase the export of their products. This argument does not hold water as it directly concerns the strategic planning of pharmaceutical companies. Most Ukrainian compa­nies in this sector do not strive to enter highly compet­itive Western markets.

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