For JSC «Nobel Almaty Pharmaceutical Factory», 2022 has become a very significant year, as the company celebrated its 20th anniversary since its founding. During this time, the company has come a long way and has become one of the leaders of the Kazakhstani pharmaceutical market. Selçuk Tanrıverdi, General Director of JSC «Nobel Almaty Pharmaceutical Factory», spoke about the achievements of the company and its plans for the future, as well as the state of the pharmaceutical industry in Kazakhstan in general.
- What are the results of JSC «Nobel Almaty Pharmaceutical Factory» in 2022?
- Nobel İlaç is the first foreign investor in the pharmaceutical industry in Kazakhstan. As a result of its arrival in 2002, the JSC «Nobel Almaty Pharmaceutical Factory» was established. Dynamically developing, we were the first among Kazakhstani pharmaceutical drug manufacturers, back in 2011, we received the GMP certificate and have been uncompromisingly following this international standard for many years, periodically confirming compliance with it. Over the years, we have significantly expanded the production and range of products. Now the structure of the enterprise has six production facilities, which produce over 250 high-quality import-substituting drugs in various dosage forms for the treatment of both widespread and rare diseases, as well as malignant neoplasms.
According to the international analytical company IQVIA, JSC «Nobel Almaty Pharmaceutical Factory» has been consistently among the leaders of the Kazakhstani pharmaceutical market over the past years. Moreover, we are growing not only in the public procurement segment, but also in retail, and in terms of the growth indicators themselves, we hold the first position. Thus, over the last annual period, sales of the company's medicines in the retail pharmacy network increased by more than 48% in value terms and 40% in physical terms.
It should be noted that the company has established a full cycle of production of medicines. In addition, the company has experience in the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, for which there is already a demand. We are moving in the direction of deepening the localization of production, and this is very important, as it contributes to the development of the scientific and human potential of the industry.
- The most important indicators of the sustainable development of a pharmaceutical enterprise and the competitiveness of its products are the geography and volume of exports. How is this area developing?
- For the past 7 years, we have been leading in terms of exports of products among Kazakhstani drug manufacturers. The export geography is also gradually expanding. If earlier we supplied products to Uzbekistan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, then from this year we will add Moldova and Belarus to this list. In addition, already in the first half of 2023, we expect a GMP inspection from Turkey, which will take place as part of the product registration procedure in this country. And also in the coming years we plan to register our drugs in Bulgaria. So, in the future, exports will be carried out not only to the countries of the near, but also far abroad.
- Mr. Selçuk, today the Republic of Kazakhstan is actively attracting investments in the pharmaceutical industry. As part of this work, an agreement has already been signed between the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Nobel İlaç on cooperation to modernize and expand the existing production of JSC «Nobel Almaty Pharmaceutical Factory» and build a second pharmaceutical plant in Almaty. What stage of implementation this project is at?
- Nobel İlaç plans to invest an additional $55 million to modernize existing production sites, as well as to build a second pharmaceutical plant in Almaty, where high-tech biologicals will be produced. Design specifications and estimates and a feasibility study have already been developed, as well as the design of the production complex itself. A plot of land has been purchased, infrastructure is being created and engineering communications are being laid. That is, at this stage, we have already begun the phased implementation of the project and plan to fully complete it by the end of 2025.
- Has the geopolitical situation affected the work of the enterprise?
- Of course, everything has risen in price: active pharmaceutical ingredients and excipients have added at least 50% in price, packaging materials - 100%, logistics has become more costly and time-consuming. Much of what was previously delivered by land, now we are forced to transport by air. The volatility of "hard" currencies and strong inflation also make their negative contribution.
Today we are in a world where the situation is changing rapidly. Therefore, at this stage, the industry needs more flexible price regulation.
- I can't help but ask our traditional question: what is needed today for the successful development of the pharmaceutical industry in Kazakhstan? What regulatory solutions does it particularly need?
- Over the next 10-15 years, the emphasis in the treatment of many diseases will shift in favor of biopharmaceutical preparations, as they have a targeted effect and help treat previously incurable diseases or solve a certain therapeutic problem at a qualitatively new level. The production of such drugs should receive special support measures. The industry must move forward, master new technologies, and support must stimulate this process.
Recent events, including the pandemic and the current geopolitical situation with its economic consequences, have shown that the country should have its own production of all important drugs.
In addition, it is necessary to clearly formulate the requirements for manufacturers and other entities in the field of medicines circulation when introducing labeling and, most importantly, not to change them, since any changes lead to an increase in the cost of the project.
It is also important for the industry that there is a parallel existence of the national registration procedure along with the registration procedure under the rules of the EAEU.
- Tell us about your plans for the future.
- In addition to the construction of a new plant, we plan to develop contract manufacturing of innovative products together with the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. Another very important project is the construction of a “smart pharmaceutical warehouse”.
- Thank you very much for the interesting interview. We congratulate the JSC «Nobel Almaty Pharmaceutical Factory» team on their anniversary and wish them new achievements!