Endopharm invests in the organization of the production of drugs including opium

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To ensure sovereignty in the production of drugs containing morphine (INN), the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, together with the Moscow Endocrine Plant, is implementing an investment project by 2023 to organize a full cycle of opium narcotic drugs production in the country, Endopharm reports.

The project provides for the complete localization of all stages of production in Russia, including the cultivation of permitted varieties of opium poppy (breadseed poppy) narcotic plant with specified characteristics and the processing of plant raw materials (poppy straw)  into active pharmaceutical substances: codeine, thebaine, morphine.

Currently, the Pochep branch, located in the Bryansk region, is completing the design work on the creation of production facilities for poppy straw processing, as well as carries out experimental cultivation of permitted opium poppy varieties.

In 2020, the Maral poppy variety with a morphine content of up to 0.4%, registered by the Moscow Endocrine Plant, was entered in the State Register of Breeding Achievements Approved for Use in the Russian Federation. Due to its low content of alkaloids, this variety does not attract those interested in consuming illegal drugs or their trafficking, and the plant can also be used for obtaining food-grade seeds. Endopharm’s Department of Science and Production Technologies has adapted and modernized the technologies of alkaloids extraction so that morphine hydrochloride, a high-quality pharmaceutical substance, can be produced from low-alkaloid raw materials harvested from large areas of land.

This year, the government supported the initiative of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation to use the state assets of FSUE Pervomayskoye, including a land plot of 6756 hectares, in an investment project for the industrial cultivation of opium poppy.

This area, according to the press service of Endopharm, will fully meet the annual demand of the Russian Federation for the morphine hydrochloride and up to 35% of the need for food-grade poppy seeds.

It is noted that the consolidation of federal assets will contribute to achieving the targets of the investment project within the planned time frame, will optimize the costs of its implementation, as well as reduce the cost of production and, as a result, the prices for socially important medicines.

By order of the territorial Administration of the Federal Property Management Agency in Moscow,  the reorganization of the FSUE “Moscow Endocrine Plant” (Endopharm), subordinate to the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, was launched: the FSUE Pervomayskoye was added to the company. According to the approved plan, the reorganization will be completed in December this year.

In the spring of 2022, Endopharm will sow the poppy on an area of 2,000 hectares, the report says. By 2024, a complex will be created consisting of a plot for the cultivation of opium poppies, a branch for the processing of plant raw materials into active pharmaceutical substances, and two production sites for the manufacturing of ready-made dosage forms, which will make it possible to overcome import dependence and carry out a full cycle of production of opium analgesics.

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