The aim of Actavis is to provide reliable, efficient and safe pharmaceutical products of the latest generation at affordable prices, making such pharmaceuticals available to a wide range of patients and raising the quality of treatment. Our standards areas of development are cardiology, neurology, pain therapy and gastroenterology, and our biggest priority is to make sure all our medical drugs are regularly available in pharmacies.
In his interview with our portal, Pavle Marjanovic, CEO of Actavis for Serbia and Montenegro, announces new pharmaceuticals in the Serbian market. In addition to new medical drugs from the Leskovac plant, a cause for this interview was the Superbrands acknowledgment, recently awarded to the company. The head of the pharmaceutical company discusses the importance of generic medical drugs, the company's plans for the upcoming period...
eKapija: Are pharmaceuticals in the Serbian market of good quality?
– When it comes to quality, there are very strict global regulations, which we strictly comply with as producers. There are no “semi-quality” pharmaceuticals in the market! If a medical drug is registered at the Medicines and Medical Devices Agency of Serbia (ALIMS), it is of good quality and in line with global standards. Our medicines produced in Leskovac are still used by patients in the EU, Russia, Ukraine, even Australia.
eKapija: Medicines produced in Leskovac, then, cover the entire world. We assume that this means that you are satisfied with the results in the past period.
– Actavis is the third company in Serbia by the market share. Our portfolio is diversified and divided into several therapy groups, and that's good for the company's sustainable operations in the future. As a member of the Teva Group, we have stabilized our operations in the past years, which is a foundation for further development, both of our factory in Leskovac and of the commercial organization in Belgrade.
eKapija: Considering that Actavis produces generic medicines, tell us how the market has reacted to them.
– A generic medicine is identical to the original medicine in key characteristics – the efficiency, the active substance composition and the effects. Thanks to a strong local industry, patients in Serbia are used to using quality generic medicines produced in the country for decades now.
eKapija: The World Bank has published a study recommending increased usage of generic drugs. What's the situation like in Serbia?
– Generic drugs make up around 45% in money and slightly under 80% in the number of packages in the market. This is a percentage comparable to the majority of EU countries. What's important is that there's a healthy balance between introducing new medicines to the list and in expanding the therapy categories of the existing generic medicines. That's where the potential lies for the market to grow in the upcoming years, especially in the domain of treating chronic cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
eKapija: How would you characterize the current situation when it comes to the procurement of medical drugs in Serbia?
– A stability in the procurement of medicines has been established in Serbia, and the best proof of this is that shortages are sporadic and that they can be overcome by using medical drugs with the same composition, but from different producers. Each EU state has its own system of procurement and we should certainly use the experiences of other countries, especially economies similar to ours, such as eastern European countries. On the other hand, we should be working on maintaining and upgrading the existing system, with necessary modifications, but also by complying with the rule “primum non noncere” - the priority being not to jeopardize the achieved stability and to maintain it. The primary ingredient in this stability are regular payments by the NHIF.
eKapija: Is Actavis planning new investments in the production and the sales?
– Our factory is a member of the global family of Teva's plants, which enables us to get new medicines for us to produce and to market the products from Leskovac globally. When it comes to marketing, we've decided to enter two new segments. The first concerns respiratory diseases, with a new asthma pump at an affordable price, which will enable the state to make considerable savings, but also provide the possibility for a larger number of patients to get asthma pumps. The other segment concerns HIV patients and the fact that the first two medicines were 30% cheaper than those on the list from the start. We also plan to launch several modern HIV treatment medicines.
New employments in Serbia will depend on the increase of our production capacities at Zdravlje Leskovac and on the launch of new products in the market of Serbia.
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