“The highlight is really the acceleration of access to our innovation. We always have provided and registered our products here, but this year was truly a leap year. We registered for example four products two in HIV one antibiotic and one in hepatitis C. we also had three inclusions: one in hepatitis C, one in antifungal and one antibiotic. Because of this acceleration, thousands more patience have access to our innovation,” said Marwan Akar —the General Director of MSD and Managing Director of MSD in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan – in an exclusive interview for GMP News.
Marwan Akar emphasized the fact of the development and strengthening of cooperation with partners at several levels. First of all, the company has a partnership with the Russian Ministry of Health. In this field, MSD shares international expertise and knowledge to help the mentioned Ministry achieve its goals of increasing the life expectancy and improving the quality of life. Secondly, it is an increase in number of local partners. As a result of the new cooperation, it is planned to implement the local production of three vaccines in Russia. Another important aspect for MSD is the support of the Love Your Health Project, which is a diversified program that promotes a healthy lifestyle.
All this brings great financial results. “We had a good year in financial terms and we have risen in the ranking of pharmaceutical companies compared to the previous year,” points out the General Director General of MSD.
“WELL, TO START WITH, WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE THE ACCELERATION OF PROVIDING ACCESS TO OUR MEDICINES. FOR EXAMPLE, WE ARE PLANNING FOUR NEW REGISTRATIONS IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE YEAR, AS WELL AS ONE MORE IDEAL INCLUSION IN THE HIV. SO, THAT’S ONE. SECONDLY, FOLLOWING THE LAUNCH OF OUR HCV PRODUCT, WE ARE LOOKING AT STUDY THAT WILL EXAMINE THE IMPACT OF ELIMINATION OF HCV HERE IN RUSSIA AND WAYS TO DO SO. SO, THAT’S THE SECOND THAT WE ARE DOING; THAT’S THE SECOND OBJECTIVE. THE THIRD OBJECTIVE IS TO CONTINUE OUR AWARENESS CAMPAIGN ON HIV, SOMETHING THAT WE SORTED TWO YEARS AGO AND WE HAVE SEEN GOOD RESULTS OF.”
As for the labelling of drugs, Marwan Akar said that MSD is preparing for serialization, like all other manufacturers, highlighting that it will not be easy.
Among other things, one of the most important tasks for next year will be to continue a number of clinical studies in the field of immunology and not only at the global level, but also in the Russian Federation.
In terms of support for national projects, two areas were specified and the MSD tasks will be concentrated around them. In the words of Marwan Akar: ”Specifically, I would highlight two areas that are in the Ministry of Health strategy, which are prevention through vaccination and focus on cancer. For example, with vaccination we understand NIP will be coming. I think it’s very important to understand when; so, we, as a company, can better prepare ourselves from the manufacturing perspective. So, the more notice we get early, the better we will be prepared to have supply available.”
 Merck Sharp & Dohme (Merck & Co in the USA)