A gathering storm of the Russian veterinary pharmaceuticals market

03-07 | |
Several poultry companies have noted that the issue of vaccine shortages is gradually becoming more pressing. Photo: Canva
Several poultry companies have noted that the issue of vaccine shortages is gradually becoming more pressing. Photo: Canva

Sanctions and controversial government policies bar the way for much-needed veterinary pharmaceuticals in the Russian poultry industry. The problem has already started affecting farms, according to market players.

Russian poultry farmers are largely concerned over the narrowing flow of imported veterinary pharmaceuticals, the local branch of Forbes reported. Russia is self-sufficient in poultry vaccines by only 30%, the Agricultural Ministry estimated. By 2030, the Ministry expects this figure to grow to about 47%, though this will require substantial investments.

In total, 297 imported and 319 domestic veterinary vaccines are registered in Russia, of which 117 and 73, respectively, are used for poultry farming, estimated Eduard Mailyan, an independent poultry industry analyst. Out of the 50 most popular types of vaccines in poultry farming, local firms fully meet the industry’s demand only for 11, he said.

Localisation requirement

Russian veterinary pharmaceutical imports are in jeopardy, as from 1 September, a new procedure for getting a greenlight for imports from the Russian regulator is due to come into force.

“The new rules, in fact, obligated all foreign manufacturers of immunobiological products to undergo certification for compliance with Russian rules of good manufacturing practice, or GMP, and provide their vaccine strains for deposit in Russia,” Mailyan noted. “And for some, providing a strain is tantamount to disclosing a trade secret, since, after transferring the material, the vaccine can begin to be produced without the company’s involvement.”

Biting sanctions

Some of the world’s largest vaccine suppliers have left the Russian market under the sanction pressure. For example, Mailyan listed Intervet/MSD, Zoetis, Boehringer Ingelheim/Merial, Elanco/LAH/Avipro among those that pulled out from the country.

For those that remain on the market, sanctions have made imports more challenging. For example, Hipra and CevaSantéAnimale reportedly experience difficulties in importing vaccines, the analyst added.

Mounting shortage

There is already a shortage of effective vaccines, which could lead to a decrease in production effectiveness in the poultry sector, warned Mailyan. For example, poultry farms are beginning to experience a shortage of vaccines against Newcastle disease. This shortage could potentially lead to a rise in disease outbreaks, increased mortality rates, and a decline in poultry production, all of which would have a significant economic impact on the sector.

“The availability of imported vaccines has greatly decreased, and domestic suppliers, unfortunately, cannot keep up with the growing demand for their products due to limited production capacity,” te Cherkizovo press office commented.

Several poultry companies told Forbes that the issue of vaccine shortages is gradually becoming more pressing. To plug the gap, Russian poultry farmers import vaccines via parallel imports through third countries. However, in this case, the issue of vaccine safety comes to the fore, as grey schemes are less reliable than official channels, Forbes reported. 

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Vladislav Vorotnikov Eastern European correspondent