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Russia 

Russia: an enticing OTC and pharma market 

 

The Russian self-medication and pharma market experienced a few changes over the past years that solidated the growth and opportunities this market has to offer. 

Market Structure

The Russian OTC and pharma markets have experienced stable growth in the last few years, further outlining the obstinacy of the market. In 2021, the consumer health and Rx market accounted for 21,35 billion USD. Forecasts further predict the growth of approximately 16% in the next few years. The OTC & Pharma Market should reach USD 35,86 Billion ex-factory in 2035.  

Segments

The market is divided into three segments: the commercial self-medication and prescription drug, the commercial parapharmaceutical and the governmental segments. The first of these is the largest by far. 

Economic Groups

Further, the market can be divided into three other main groups of participants: Due to its focus on imports, representing 55,6% of the sales in 2021, as well as the geographical characteristics of Russia, a great deal of attention is paid to the wholesale sector. Pharmaceutical distributors provide access to foreign drugs and allow for the distribution of drugs produced locally. Leaders in this area—along with leaders in drug production—are quite stable. Distributors are trying to expand their networks with branches in many cities to ensure the stable flow of the required number of products.

OTC vs. RX

The Russian Rx segment is almost equal to the OTC sector, but sales in both sectors have been increasing from year to year. In 2021, according to the DSM report, Rx products represented 52,6% of sales and OTC products 47,4%.  

Reasons for the prosperous market and remaining difficulties

The domestic Russian pharma market faces a number of obstacles and difficulties that seriously complicate and hinder its development. 

Currently government regulations have a very large impact on the domestic pharma market of the Russian Federation; strategies for the replacement of imported drugs with Russian ones are being developed. For example, Russia pharma producers remain in a leading position when working with vital and essential drugs, because surcharges depend on the manufacturer’s price. The launch of new drugs is also one of the most important areas of the market. Many importers are increasingly looking for the opportunity to start their own contracts for production in Russia. The state seeks to support and motivate foreign pharmaceutical companies to engage in this kind of cooperation, because it generates the opportunity both to create new jobs and to improve cash flows to the state budget.

Governmental actions and future plans

The government is actively taking measures to regulate the pharmaceutical market, in particular by increasing local production. 

It must be said that the pandemic has not had any major impact on the development prospects of the Russian producers. One of the development priorities in this agenda is the Pharma-2030 Strategy. This strategy implemented by the government aim at improving the production of products. In the next decade, they plan on slowly shifting their OTC and pharma market towards a localization of the production to reduce their imports of medicine. 

As a result, the Russian Pharma industry is currently under reconstruction and modernization. The state is expending considerable effort to allow domestic manufacturers to lead the field. But the success of these initiatives will only be seen in the next few years, when the planned strategies are implemented.

Our added value

We, Chameleon Pharma Consulting, have experts with a minimum of twenty years of experience in the global healthcare industry, including the Russian Consumer health and Pharma Market in Regulatory and GMP Audits. This experience has been accrued by working on numerous projects, from internationalizing products to optimizing individual international pharma strategies. We are active in segments such as Consumer Health, Pharma, Medical Devices and Cosmetics, and are here to support your business and plans for engaging in Emerging Markets worldwide. For more information on our services, please continue browsing our website.

The Russian OTC and pharma market in 2035

USD 35,86 Billion

OTC and pharma market size, ex-factory

3-6%

OTC and pharma market growth

Russia in a few numbers

Total population

Male/Female ratio

Population growth

Birth rate

Mortality rate

Life expectancy

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