Chat with Danil Blinov, Head of Pfizer Russia
Published on 29 May 2014 by Editorial
Pfizer first appeared in Russia in 1992, when the company established their first Moscow-based office. By 2007, Pfizer’s outreach had spread to over 50 cities, covering both European and Asian sides of the Russian Federation, and further stapled their presence and dedication to the Russian pharma market in 2011, by joining forces with NPO Petrovax Pharm to localise production of the innovative 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.
With 1000+ employees nationwide and more than 100 registered drugs in Russia, Pfizer has proven to be a dominant and exemplary international force, helping the Russian pharmaceutical industry to become one of the fastest growing in the world. This week, we spoke with Danil Blinov, the man at the helm of Pfizer’s operations in Russia, who provided us with exclusive insight on their work and the Russian pharma market today:
Mr. Blinov, what do you think is the greatest task for the Russian pharma market at the moment?
I think first of all it’s to develop the domestic industry and localise production, improve systems for training staff, stimulate innovation and manufacture of new drugs, and also support to new government programmes for healthcare development aimed at treating illnesses and promoting a healthy lifestyle.
In 2011 Pfizer launched the investment strategy “More than”, to work with government agencies, Russian pharmaceutical companies and other organisations to make a contribution to the modernisation of Russia’s healthcare system, lower the country’s mortality rate, and help the Russian population to live longer and better. “More than” continues to implement innovative joint projects in three spheres: “More than production”, “More than R&D” and “More than education”.
What trend do you think will define the development of the global pharma sector over the next five years?
The sector will develop to resolve one of pharma’s most important tasks – providing innovative and good-quality drugs to patients. On the one hand this will involve developing new drugs, and changing the way that harmful illnesses are prevented, specifically by developing personalised medicine. On the other hand, as pharmaco-economics is increasingly important, we will need to search for more efficient production methods, including cooperation between global and local players and localisation.
Why is Pfizer’s business model so effective?
As a global biopharmaceutical leader, Pfizer’s main focus is the development of innovative drugs. In Russia in 2013 we registered several innovative drugs, including medicament for preventing strokes and atrial fibrillation, a best-in-class Janus kinase inhibitor for treating rheumatoid arthritis, and a product for treating kidney cancer. We work with various organisations to support the government’s initiatives in healthcare and improve patients’ access to high-quality and innovative drugs. In Russia the company plans to develop its “More than” strategy – localising production, supporting local R&D projects and organising educational programmes to train a new generation of pharmaceutical professionals. As part of this strategy the company has transferred the innovative technology for the whole production cycle of a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to the Russian pharmaceutical manufacturer Petrovax Pharm. As part of its “More than research” programme the company develops R&D projects, which have included its transfer of a globally exclusive license for the molecule DPP-IVi for treatment of type 2 sugar diabetes to the “Khimrar” high-tech centre, support to a project by the Blokhin Laboratory for translational research and personalised medicine in its development of new approaches to solving tasks in personalised oncology medicine, and participation in a project to study opisthorchiasis as an oncological risk factor together with the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Science and the technological platform “Medicine of the Future”. These partnerships between the scientific and business community, supported by the government, are an excellent example of how the government’s strategy for developing the healthcare and pharma industries is being implemented. We believe it is important to be involved in training people to work in the industry. For three years we have run the “More than education” programme at Russia’s leading universities, such as Moscow Lomonosov State University and St Petersburg State Pharmaceutical Academy, as well as education projects for healthcare specialists all across Russia. This year, in collaboration with Skolkovo Open University and Skolkovo Biomedical Cluster, we have launched a new programme – Pharma’s Cool.
If you weren’t the manager of a leading pharmaceutical company, what would you do?
I would be involved in private education.
Danil Blinov will speak at the Russian Pharmaceutical Forum on 17th June, St. Petersburg, Russia