US-based biopharmaceutical services company Quintiles is expanding its remit in Russia by launching its first commercial project in the market.
The project involves a 40-strong sales team and comes after Quintiles set up a local legal entity to deliver commercial operations in the country and appointed Sergey Smirnov as head of business development & operations, Commercial Solutions Russia.
Quintiles’ commercial business spans primary care and hospital specialist sales teams as well as nursing assignments and other services such as analytics, market access, sales training and e-commercial solutions.
The company established clinical operations in Russia back in 1997, with a first office in Moscow followed by office openings in St. Petersburg (2005) and Novosibirsk, Siberia (2007).
According to Jim Featherstone, vice president, global commercial strategy, commercial solutions, the clinical business provides a firm base to drive commercial strategies in what he described as a “complex and challenging market to penetrate”.
Quintiles can “help biopharma navigate this complex landscape, drawing on our 14 years [of] clinical development experience together with local commercial expertise provided by Sergey Smirnov”, Featherstone said.
A firm grounding in the Russian market means the company can offer common medical standards and practices across the country as well as direct access to a network of professional sites and investigators, Quintiles noted. It also has a well-established relationship with regulatory bodies and key opinion leaders across Russia.
Per capita lag
With a population of 142 million, Russia accounts for just under a third of the total pharmaceutical market in Central & Eastern Europe, Quintiles pointed out. Yet in per capita terms the country remains among the smallest markets in the region.
As such, the Russian pharmaceutical market is forecast to expand rapidly over the next few years, with compound annual growth rates of 16% for prescription drugs, 11% for OTC medicines and 15% for generics.
The Russian government is also implementing the Pharma 2020 Strategy, which aims to encourage growth in the pharmaceutical industry during the period up to 2020, Quintiles observed.