About plans for the next year and phase-out prospects
Year 2015 in pharmaceutical industry was marked by production boom: new plants were launched and it is encouraging that there are national manufactures among them. Our guest for pre-New Year issue is Milan Yaroshinsky – director of the innovational pharmaceutical company АО “Pharm-Sintez” which is planning to launch new production plant as well. We talked about challenges in national production industry and how phase-out course is implemented.
KS: Milan Anatolyevich, often interviews start with question on what did you dream to do as a child. I`d like to pose it in another way: was there something in your childhood and adolescence that indicated that you will be at the head of a major pharmaceutical company?
Milan: My childhood was long ago. I dreamed about sea, but family business was connected to law. In the end I graduated from law university in Moscow. Seventeen years I worked in this profession but life had own plans for me. Nothing, as it seemed, indicated that I will work in pharmaceutical industry but here I am – a part of the АО “Pharm-Sintez”.
KS: Pharmaceutics is very specific industry, and development and manufacturing of drugs is even more specific. Usually people go into it consciously and purposefully. What was your way into drug field?
Milan: My way into pharm industry started quite a long time ago. It began in 2001 in associated industry – in a private medical services. I also specialized in intellectual property protection. I started my work in the АО“Pharm-Sintez” about four years ago; I came from managing company "SKOLKOVO menedzhment" to the position of legal department head. In four years I worked my way up to General Director.
KS: Every company, just like every person, has its own milestones marked by important events. Please, tell us about АО “Pharm-Sintez” milestones.
Milan: In 2015 our company celebrated its 18th anniversary and we are very proud! We show active growth in all aspects. Our development plans go far ahead and include introduction to the market several dozens of new innovative products and generic drugs in the nearest future, including radiopharmaceutical substances and agents for early radiological diagnostics, which significantly improve patient`s quality of life.
KS: Company you`re heading prefer more challenging way than manufacturing generic drugs out from imported raw materials. We would like to know how national innovation company works in current situation, what problems do you face?
Milan: It`s correct, АО “Pharm-Sintez” has full production cycle, from synthesis of substances to manufacturing finished dosage forms. Our main problem, probably, is shortage of skilled personnel on the labor market. Sometimes staff shortage and demand for high quality specialists is really intense.
KS: One of your company`s objective is to lower Russian patients` dependence on imported drugs by the way of developing new, affordable, highly effective and safe products. In other words, “to replace import by national quality”. What, in your opinion, should be balanced phase-out and where are its reasonable limits?
Milan: Unfortunately, phase-out in the pharmaceutical production field is very complex and long process. This is the way how industry works and everywhere in the world it`s the same. Development of the new product and introduction it to the market takes, in the best case, about three years. Among other things, this process demands serious investing, which may not return due to industry specifics, changing law, competitors entry into market and many other, hard to predict, factors. Drug industry does not offer quick money returns, and this fact hugely defines limits of reasonable phase-out you`ve asked about. Besides, I would like to note that АО “Pharm-Sintez” specialists know how to and can synthesis and manufacture highly technological substances protected by foreign companies` patents, which, as of present, is insurmountable obstacle for the phase-out.
KS: What advantages and prospects phase-out offers for the national innovational pharmaceutical company?
Milan: As of a present, Russian government works in active cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and in every way possible tries to help our industry and support phase-out. Regulatory acts of the Russian Federation government on grants for national manufacturers of substances and drugs were signed and adopted this year. It`s an important step which will tangibly help many pharmaceutical manufacturers to introduce into market new, import replacing products.
KS: 2015 was a challenging year. What problems pose exchange rate fluctuations we have seen for the company which production is based on own raw materials?
Milan: АО “Pharm-Sintez” does not face serious problems related to exchange rate fluctuations. We don`t largely rely on import because its part in our production process is minimal. The only significant drawback is impossibility to buy new equipment for reasonable money. But, unfortunately, there are no another variants. Equivalent equipment is either not manufactured by Russian companies or we are not satisfied by its quality, so we have to buy from foreign partners. We felt impact of exchange rate fluctuations in the final stage of buyng equipment for our new plant in Borovsk of Kaluga region but handled it successfully. Our new production plant will be able to manufacture sterile forms (lyophilisates, aseptic powders, injection solutions) and non-sterile pharmaceutical products, including sprays, solutions, solid gelatinous capsules, tablets, coated tablets – in accordance with GMP rules and standards.
KS: Since you mentioned Kaluga Oblast: “Pharm-Sintez” is one of the Kaluga pharmclaster (KPC) participants. Why Kaluga pharmclaster is appealing for you?
Milan: KPC is the forum which gives us opportunity to work on unique project, to be a part of it, communicate and interact with other persons and companies in pharmaceutical industry. Quite a lot of our interests lay here and, as I mentioned earlier, it is strategically important for us that our new plant in Borovsk is close to Obninsk city where, among other things, we plan to satisfy our demand for personnel.
KS: How many jobs will provide new plant in Borovsk and what production capacity do you plan?
Milan: There will be 50-60 new job positions, designed plant capacity is 1.5 million packs per year.
KS: You mentioned search for qualified personnel. Company with such a potential needs, in a manner of speaking, unique specialists, able to work in production in accordance with GMP. How do you handle this problem?
Milan: As I have said earlier, this problem exists everywhere in Russian pharmaceutical industry. In my opinion, there is no universal approach and solution. We address it in different ways – searching, nurturing our own talents. Our doors are always open for professionals.
KS: What personal skills are necessary for working in your company?
Milan: Determination, patience, ability to join in intensive work when situation calls for it. I think, this complex of skills is pretty common and we are no different from other companies.
KS: Do you have time for anything besides business? How do you like to spend your free time?
Milan: I really don`t have a lot of rest, but I have some. Usually I spend it outdoors, in the country house or with my friends. I enjoy fishing but lately this hobby is sidelined because it requires serious preparations and, alas, quite a lot of free time. Recently I took interest in numismatics. It`s relaxing, less demanding for time hobby, suitable for busy person.
KS: Do your kids plan to follow your in professional field – indeed, in pharmaceutics business it`s often family profession?
Milan: My son Ivan is fifteen years old, and he is more oriented on humanities, daughter Katerina is ten years old and she is still a child. My daughter do not think about future profession yet, and it`s good – let her be a child as long as possible.
KS: Do your family has New Year traditions?
Milan: More or less common, probably, as the most people – New Year in the family circle. We all gather in our home and celebrate in heartfelt, quiet atmosphere, like a family should.
KS: What do you look forward to in the next year and what milestones plan to achieve with “Pharm-Sintez” company in the year 2016?
Milan: This is, probably, the most challenging question out of all you`ve asked, though at the first glance it seems simple. I have a lot of plans. On a global scale, I want stability in our economics in the next year, and not only in economics. Main milestones for 2016 – launch of production on АО “Pharm-Sintez” new plant in Borovsk, obtaining registration certificate for the new innovational radiopharmaceutical product and several high technology generics. I would like to wish all my colleagues, friends, partner’s welfare and achievement of their objectives in the next year!