The Global System of Drug Safety: Protecting Health in a Multipolar World

10 September 2023

The business programme of the Eastern Economic Forum will feature the expert discussion ‘The Global System of Drug Safety: Protecting Health in a Multipolar World’, which is being organized by the Roscongress Foundation’s Healthy Life project. The session is part of the business track ‘Technological Development as a Guarantee of Sovereignty’.

The session will be moderated by Chairman of the Expert Council on the Regulation of Medicines and Medical Devices of the State Duma’s Committee on Health Protection Alexander Petrov. The panellists will include: Russian First Deputy Minister of Health Viktor Fisenko, Association of European Businesses CEO Tadzio Schilling, Chairman of the Board of the Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of the Eurasian Economic Union Alexey Kedrin, Senior Vice President for Innovation at the Skolkovo Foundation Kirill Kayem, Deputy Director for the Implementation of Federal Projects of the Blokhin National Medical Research Centre of Oncology of the Russian Ministry of Health Tigran Gevorkyan, Member of the Board of Directors of the Centre for the Development of Advanced Technologies Alexander Demyanov, Managing Director of the Investment Business Unit of VEB Infrastructure Alexander Turkov, General Director of the Association of Russian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Chairman of the Public Council of the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance in Healthcare Viktor Dmitriev.

At present, several nations have significantly altered their approach to the value of human life and health, employing double standards. Never before, even in the context of world wars, has the provision of medicines to the populations of countries been placed under such critical conditions in terms of global drug policy. The global framework for drug availability has been shattered. This is a result of demands from political elites to halt cooperation and the supply of medicines from unfriendly states, transforming the refrain of ‘keep medicine out of politics’ into a tactic of ‘medicine as a political tool’. Today, many countries have adopted new national strategies that prioritize drug safety and sovereignty. In the global system of drug safety and health protection within a multipolar world, it seems highly necessary to establish drug-sharing agreements among specific unions of states or individual large countries. These agreements would involve the mutual provision of medicines in the event of changes in the political situation. This is crucial because the primary responsibility of any state in varying geopolitical conditions is to safeguard the lives and health of its citizens. Within the framework of alliances with friendly states, the objective is to ensure drug safety at all stages of distribution. Such alliances are feasible with countries in Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the Eurasian Union.

“The new challenges of our times are dictating the conditions for a restructuring of the global drug security system. To ensure that citizens are consistently provided with all the necessary medicines, countries are looking for opportunities to organize new unions and associations, as well as implement measures to maintain their own pharmaceutical production. In Russia, the pharmaceutical industry is demonstrating rapid development and a high level of sustainability,” Chairman of the Expert Council on the Regulation of Medicines and Medical Devices of the State Duma’s Committee on Health Protection Alexander Petrov said.

During the session, experts will find answers to such questions as whether it is possible to build a global system of drug safety, whether each country should produce all medicines, how we can establish efficient logistics systems that can adapt to changing political situations, how to sustain international collaborative research, what steps need to be taken to foster effective relationships between government agencies in different countries while ensuring their operational functionality, and what key aspects should be prioritized when harmonizing regulations concerning the movement of medicines across borders.

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