The pharmaceutical industry asks for itself - Newspaper Kommersant No. 181 (7382) of 09/30/2022

Most of the specialized associations in the market of medicines and medical equipment in Russia have applied to the government for a deferment for all their employees from partial mobilization. Given the shortage of personnel, it will be difficult for enterprises to quickly replace mobilized workers, since their search and training takes time, the letters indicate. For the time being, however, industries where businesses seek to retain hires through the current booking mechanism are making more headway.

The largest associations in the markets of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment have asked the government to develop a mechanism for deferment from conscription for military service with partial mobilization for their employees. On Wednesday, a letter to the Prime Minister (Kommersant has it) was sent by a number of pharmaceutical associations, including the Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of the EAEU (AFPEEAEC), the Inpharma Association, the Association of International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (AMEDA) and the Union of Professional Pharmaceutical Organizations. A similar document was sent to the government yesterday by the associations of international manufacturers of medical devices (IMEDA) and health industry goods (AITZ) (also available from Kommersant).

As indicated in the letter of the associations, due to the specifics of production, companies cannot quickly find employees to replace those mobilized. Pharmaceutical enterprises “employ highly qualified specialists who know the specifics of the regular processes of the industry of the Russian Federation and the EAEU countries, the features of high-tech production of drugs, as well as the difficulties of ensuring safe logistics.” Their training, the authors of the letter emphasize, takes time - it is necessary to go through complex accreditation procedures and gain experience that has no analogues on the market. At the same time, they note, the importance of the smooth operation of the pharmaceutical industry is only increasing, since it is necessary to provide the necessary drugs not only to regular patients, including the chronically ill, but also to those who suffer during the military operation. Therefore, the authors of the letter ask the government to grant a deferment from mobilization to all employees of the pharmaceutical industry liable for military service. IMEDA and AITZ are also asking for similar measures, also pointing out the difficulties with replacing employees.

“Now there is a shortage of personnel in the Russian market. There are no people, and those who are suitable for their qualifications, companies can buy from each other with a 20-50 percent increase in salary, ”a top manager of a Russian pharmaceutical company told Kommersant. When some of them are mobilized, he says, "there will be no one to work at the enterprises." More than others, notes a Kommersant source in the pharmacy industry, small pharmacy chains and drug production will suffer. “If at a large enterprise you can find a replacement in the team, then where there is only one specialist, you will have to look for it in the external labor market,” he explains.

The growing shortage of personnel may stop the increase in the volume of Russian drug production, which was formed this year. Thus, according to Rosstat, pharmaceutical enterprises in the Russian Federation produced drugs worth 415 billion rubles in eight months of this year, which is 23.1% more than in January-August 2021. A similar trend was recorded for pharmaceutical substances - over the same period, output increased by a third. In total, hundreds of thousands of specialists can be employed in the production and sale of medicines and medical equipment in the Russian Federation - there are more than 14 thousand in Moscow alone, the mayor's office said earlier.

Since the announcement of the mobilization, a number of other industries have already made similar appeals to the government, including banking and radio electronics manufacturers (for more details, see Kommersant of September 29). However, the initiators of the letters either did not receive a response to them, or heard verbal assurances about how the process of mobilizing employees would go (for more details, see Kommersant of September 26). The only department that has presented a public list of specialties that are not subject to mobilization is the Ministry of Digital Development. The rest of the industries now have to book employees when employers apply with lists of irreplaceable people directly to the military enlistment offices.

Anastasia Manuylova

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