We started the distribution and marketing of pharmaceutical products in 1999 with only one supplier and we have distributed to hospitals, pharmacies, and sub-distributers. Now, Viva Pharm has 25 suppliers and 25 partners, and it represents them here in Kazakhstan.
Prescription drugs account for 80% of our total production, and 20% are over-the-counter drugs. In terms of supply to big companies, the ratio is 50/50. The retail market is growing, and it’s bigger than the hospital market.
Outside the country we distribute big-branded products because we have to register our local products. It’s a long process that can take over a year. In the production business, you have to decide what you are going to sell three or five years down the line, as you need to produce, test, and submit the product to the Ministry of Health.
The pharmaceutical industry in Kazakhstan was in its infancy 10 to 12 years ago, but now the country is particularly active in increasing the production of generic products for domestic and regional markets.
IN THE UNION
The Customs Union gives advantages to plants working under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). From 2014 onward, a company that acquires GMP accreditation will be able to sell its products in the Belarus and Russian markets and participate in state tenders.
Overall, Kazakhstan has a favorable investment climate. The country is taking the necessary measures to raise the standards for local manufacturers, which have to comply with GMP standards in order to compete in the local market.
IN THE GAME
Pfizer is committed to health improvement for millions of Kazakhstani citizens by providing access to safe and effective medicines and related healthcare services. Due to our efforts, not only well-known drugs, but the most comprehensive scientific developments became available for Kazakhstani patients.
A GOOD EXAMPLE
The Kazakhstani market is characterized by political stability and a favorable investment climate. In addition, the pharma market in the country is in the process of becoming more organized, transparent, and accessible than elsewhere in Central Asia.
We have already observed substantial improvements in the pharmaceuticals sector, such as clearly developed regulations for registering pharmaceuticals, the medical products advertising law, and advanced legislation on clinical trials.
DR. MICHAEL ZAYDMAN
BRINGING IN THE KNOW-HOW
We brought in a large amount of know-how and professional staff to the country, and educated our local doctors and nurses abroad. Now, the company has become a leader in providing private medical services and it is a leader in many medical sectors.
To begin with, I established the Center of Israel Medicine. As a doctor, the company was within my knowledge. There was very good technology in the private medical sector in Israel, and I aimed to implement it in Kazakhstan. The Center of Israel Medicine is a very professional private medical center, and one of the first of its kind in Kazakhstan.
TIPS FROM THE TOP
When investors arrive, they establish a presence in the country, open an office, invest money, and operate and manage a business. Only then can companies begin expanding. It is no longer possible to take intermediary steps. Therefore, the greatest opportunities are in the diversification of businesses; shifting from raw materials to develop high technology.
© The Business Year