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The procedure for importing drugs into Ukraine is somewhat inflated... But I do not consider that such scrupulousness is a big disadvantage


21.04.2020 (№ LDaily #3)

The procedure for importing drugs into Ukraine is somewhat inflated… But I do not consider that such scrupulousness is a big disadvantage

Andrey Deyneko, doctor and successful businessman, Country Manager, Ukraine tells about the pharmaceutical market from the inside.

Is there more responsible business than pharmaceutical? After all, usually, at the heart of any commercial project is the desire to earn. How to be in a situation where entrepreneurial activity is not just a pursuit of profit, but an important social mission? Andrey Deineko – head of the pharmaceutical company Aspen in Ukraine, and in the past – a practicing surgeon,  answered all these questions to business publication .

: Andrew, tell us a little about Aspen Ukraine: what place does the company occupy today, and how did it start?

A. Deyneko: Our company has two histories. One of them goes from the founding of the first pharmaceutical productions in Africa, and has a long-term duration. The new history is a modern Aspen, which began its work in the 90s of the past century, and aimed at high-tech production.

When the company approached the peak of its development in the Southern Hemisphere market, business began to expand, and management started to look closely at the West European consumer. Build ratings is not a grateful business. But I will not be mistaken if I say that today Aspen is the leading pharmaceutical company in the southern hemisphere. On a world scale Aspen is in the TOP-25 of the world’s most innovative companies in the Forbes rating under number 12.

Aspen – an organism with a completely unconventional history and unusual psychology for the pharmaceutical industry. If you analyze the market, today in this industry there are 2 types of enterprises: these are R&D companies and generic or manufacturing companies

We tried to combine both directions by acquiring the original molecules and manufacturing facilities which produce them.

: So Aspen is two in one?

A. Deyneko: Yes. And in this context, I would place emphasis on the work of our European office: it is closer to us, closer to Ukraine. Because those products with which Aspen worked in Africa, are irrelevant for the European market. There are really different priorities of the health care, another world .. In Africa, Aspen works for a low-income consumer, trying to provide him with the most necessary medicines at an affordable price.

But Europe requires a different approach: other products, different packaging, other comfort. Yes, and Europeans treat in a different way. Therefore, when the issue of business expansion arose, the need to change became obvious.

: How long is Aspen in Ukraine?

A. Deyneko: Since 2014. Very young company. Office in Kiev, as in many other European capitals, appeared within a year after the opening of the central office in Munich.

: And in Moscow?

A. Deyneko: Yes, also in Moscow. There is also our office there. We have a fairly extensive network. But it is worth adding that even this does not allow us to satisfy all the requests coming from doctors to the company. I am a doctor, and my understanding is close to this problem: the problem of lack of drugs on the market. Especially in the field of pediatric oncology.

: How many such requests?

A. Deyneko: They are. Perhaps, it is not so much in monetary equivalent, but in terms of the number of patients the problem becomes impressive. In part, this trend is also due to the fact that the procedure for the medicines supply to Ukraine is not the easiest.

: What is the basis of your business management model in Ukraine?

A. Deyneko: I’m building a model aimed at people. This is the social purpose of the pharmaceutical business, which must act and develop in the interests of each of us. On the other hand, it also concerns the organization of work within the company.

: As for the Ukrainian pharmaceutical market, what peculiarities could you tell about?

A. Deyneko: Answering this question, I will try to push off something that I know best: that is, from the characteristics of the pharmaceutical market. To begin with, I want to emphasize that the Aspen business in Ukraine is built on the basis of promoting anticoagulants. In Ukraine, the market for such drugs is about 15 times less than the required level. And this is

one more feature of the pharmaceutical market in Ukraine  –  the specific competition laws within the framework of this branch of business

Yes, within the Ukrainian market we have competitors. But we are struggling to ensure that our drugs are prescribed only when it is necessary. We strive to develop the market by creating conditions that are close to European ones, and not by imposing our drugs. It’s about responsibility.

Of course, it is much easier to train doctors to prescribe your drug to everyone. So you can get more prescriptions and sales.

On the other hand, such actions can endanger not only the reputation of one’s own company, but also the life of patients. Therefore, we have chosen for ourselves another way: the path of responsible promotion and studying.

: What do you mean by promotion in a pharmaceutical business?

A. Deyneko: What is a promotion for us? We do not change the color of the package or any individual inscription. For us, promotion is to teach doctors to take better care of their patients and to prescribe medications correctly (in all cases, when it is really necessary). And in Ukraine the latter has problems. Many do not receive the necessary drugs and the necessary duration of treatment or prevention.

: At the beginning of the conversation, you mentioned that in Ukraine there is a rather complicated procedure for importing medicinal products into the country. What is the difficulty and is this a serious drawback?

A. Deyneko: The system is really complicated. This is a huge list of requirements for documents that must be observed. Yes, the procedure for importing drugs to Ukraine is actually slightly bloated and in many ways formal. This is evident if we compare our country with other European states. But I do not consider such scrupulousness a big drawback. To import into Ukraine properly made, high-quality preparation does not make much effort. Questions often arise to the design but not to the composition.

Of course, sometimes even the most famous producers fall into bad stories with defective products. But, often, such problems are the result of the violation of the rules of transportation or storage. And believe me, in this case, any pharmaceutical company will prefer that this waste is found at the stage of importation into the country.

The use of a low-quality preparation will cost several times more. Therefore, I tend to think that very strict regulation is better than the absence of any control

: And the last question: what are the prospects for the development of the pharmaceutical business in Ukraine?

A. Deyneko: The possibilities are magnificent. If we talk about the industry in which Aspen works, then this is a 15-fold growth prospect. Of course, such trends are not typical for every segment of the pharmaceutical market. But, nevertheless, the prospects are colossal, and they need to be used.

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