Which innovations in store for medicine?

The problem of innovations at the present stage of development of the Russian economy is a key problem in a number of sectors. Advanced innovative technologies in the field of medicine could contribute to breakthrough in the health system and improve the availability to health care. The above issues were discussed at the round table meeting held within the scope of the forum "Open Innovations."

Innovations in medical practice would be a significant contribution to improving the quality and duration of life in Russia, participants of the discussion believe. The roundtable meeting "Innovations in medical practice" discussed what innovations the Russian health care would need in the future, which benefits various forms of cooperation may have, and what kind of possible complications may occur during the commercialization of innovations.

The modernization of the health care system is a question of vital importance to the state. One of the areas of work in this regard is the establishment of pharmaceutical clusters that attract investment in the region. The example of the Kaluga region of Russia is indicative at this point. In the region, there is a cluster of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, which includes a number of operating enterprises that provide the region with investments and jobs. The operation of the cluster in the Kaluga region is a vivid illustration of how to successfully realize a project to create workable industrial capacities. The positive example of this work increases the investment attractiveness of the region.

On the first day of the forum at the roundtable meeting "Regional peculiarities for innovative business," CEO of AstraZeneca Russia, Nenad Pavletic, noted that "in developed countries, this was called image market."  "This is now used by China, India and Indonesia. They are Russia's rivals, and they are concerned about their positioning in the market. When our headquarters decided to place our money and production in Russia, I was happy. In Russia, there is a qualitative scientific base and talented people with great potential. This is important, because in the pharmaceutical industry, most people have university education, and the possibilities of a scientific base make an objective criterion for selecting a region. The bureaucratic procedure that accompanies new companies plays an important role too. I always say this when it comes to documents, as I have worked in 23 countries of the world, where investors brought their money for production, so I can compare. The Kaluga region is one of the most transparent regions in terms of paperwork - there are almost no barriers in the region to establish a new company. This, plus skilled workers - this is what distinguishes the region and serves as a factor in attracting investment from a side. It is very important when the governor of the region has a clear idea of ​​the direction in which the region needs to develop. With these factors the region will be successful and promising from the point of view of investors," Nenad Pavletic said.

Leading experts in the treatment of socially significant viral diseases and cancer, HIV infection and drug abuse also took part in the discussion of innovations in medicine. The head of the Botkin City Hospital for Infectious Diseases № 30 of Saint Petersburg, Aleksey Yakovlev, suggested to begin assessing the scale of the problem, determine the cost of its solution and predict the evolution of the situation on the example of the spread of viral hepatitis C. According to research, the death rate from cirrhosis of the liver can grow by 45% in the near future in Russia which automatically entails the problem of how to counter this. According to him, one should develop new forms of drugs, as pills are far more preferable than injections. Timely measures can reduce the disease incidence in our country 10 times.

The head of the Moscow City Centre for AIDS Prevention and Control, Doctor of Medicine Alex Mazus, showed through statistical data the growth of HIV in the country since 2001, when the spread of the disease reached its peak. He stressed out that one needs to carefully assess whether Russia had enough resources for the treatment of all patients, as well as investments in the development of microbicides.

Physician-gastroenterologist of the First Moscow State Medical University named after Sechenov (MGMU), Eduard Burnevich, added that the best treatment for hepatitis B was triple therapy and further work with inhibitors of the viral protease, which obviously requires financial spending.

James Class, a representative of Merck, paid particular attention to strategic issues of understanding customer needs. Pharmaceutical companies, Mr. Class said, are not focused on profit at any cost now - they target customer satisfaction.

Medical director of Eli Lilly, Vyacheslav Burmistrov, agreed with Mr. Class. According to him, the company that has been operating since 1876, currently works to supply customers with affordable medications. The company is ready to invest in new developments.

Summing up the results of the meeting, representative of Russian company R-Pharm, Mikhail Samsonov, said that it was important not only to determine what kind of innovations were needed today in Russia. It is also vital to take account of the views of those who develop new drugs, and have young companies engaged in this sector of the market. According to him, this is the only way to achieve equal research and introduce new drugs in production. Sooner or later, the process is to foster partnerships between Russian and foreign companies and the transfer of innovative technologies and their introduction into clinical practice. Afterwards, it will be possible to talk about innovations in the national health care and the preservation of ethnicity as the only significant task of the state.

Irina Loseva.

Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov