Jan 10, 2023

Development under the fire: the war did not break down the leader of the pharma industry of Ukraine – on the contrary strengthened its endurance

Original article

During the large-scale war, Farmak pharmaceutical company went from USD 50 M in losses to the complete resumption of production and even extension of its manufacturing capacities in Ukraine. Recently the company announced the construction of a new facility in southwest Europe. War challenges did not stop the leader of Ukrainian pharma – on the contrary, they gave an impulse for a new co-operation perspective with international partners.

From the first days after international intelligence informed about a possible russian hostile attack on the sovereign state of Ukraine the company Farmak started to prepare itself for different scenarios: purchased raw materials for medicines production and diesel electricity generation machines. The protection of employees was the priority task for the company – thus first of all the shelters were checked. The company invested in shelter modernization when it became clear that they can’t be used. At the same time, the training was provided to employees in order to enhance understanding of what shall be done under any circumstances and first medical aid basics.

But no matter how responsibly Ukrainian businesses prepared, no one could imagine the whole nightmare that the war would bring. Farmak had to stop medicines manufacturing during the first days of large-scale war after bombarding attacks of Kyiv. One of the main reasons was the safety of employees and assets of the company – better to say it was impossible to ensure them. The next blow was the destruction of the warehouse by the enemy which was located near Kyiv and where finished dosage forms and primary packaging were kept. The company lost USD 50 M but did not give up. Farmak’s CEO Volodymyr Kostyuk mentioned that at that time he received numerous phone calls from government officials, military units, hospitals, and volunteers who were asking for supplies of necessary medicines. On the other hand company’s employees also were eager to work despite all existing risks.

During that time Ukraine faced unprecedented disruption of the medicines distribution system. Up to 90% of pharmacies were closed during the first weeks of the war. At the moment about 900 units of the healthcare system are damaged. Besides the country experienced real problems with the import of finished dosage forms and raw materials (API and primary packaging) because transportation by air and by sea was not available. Some of the warehouses of distributors were closed.

This was the reason for Farmak to resume manufacturing activities in full despite all difficulties. During several months after the large-scale military invasion the healthcare system managed to overcome the majority of the problems and to prevent the deficit of medicines in Ukraine due to the close cooperation of pharma producers and importers, officials from the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, distributors, and pharmacies.

It might seem to be complicated during the war, however, Farmak’s team managed to organize steady work of the company. In May the new production facility for medicines manufacturing in nebulas was commissioned. The company

Farmak’s CEO Volodymyr Kostyuk analyzed the achievements and future prospects of Ukrainian pharma and revealed a large number of opportunities to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation between Ukrainian pharma producers and international partners. In his opinion there are the following advantages of mutual work with Ukraine in the field of medicines manufacturing:

  1. The exceptional geographic location of Ukraine might enable:
  1. The considerable potential of Ukrainian companies in chemical and pharmaceutical fields might provide:
  1. The considerable amount of manufacturing facilities (there are about 120 pharma companies in Ukraine).

According to UN data about 5.5 M Ukrainian citizens have refugee status – Ukraine may provide them with necessary medicines using the availability of excessive manufacturing facilities. There are the following options for future co-operation provided mentioned above:

In addition, Ukraine developed Renovation Plan for the period until 2032 which contains a paragraph on the stimulation of pharma manufacturing that was defined as a priority industry by the state. Thus the Plan envisages a number of stimuli for the development of Ukrainian pharma and international cooperation as well as guarantees strong support from the state.

Information on the company

Farmak is the leader in the field of medicines manufacturing in Ukraine, the largest pharmaceutical company and the leading exporter of nationally manufactured products to the markets of more than 50 countries. The company has more than 450 medicines in its portfolio. There are 5 international representative offices in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland and Vietnam, as well as office in UAE. Farmak has manufacturing facilities in Kyiv and a facility for API production in Shostka, Sumy region. The company also has a modern R&D Laboratory and Technological Complex for the development of new and improvement of existing medicines manufacturing technologies. Both production facilities and  R&D Laboratory and Technological Complex have international certification and correspond to the requirements of European GMP standards.


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