Minister of Industry Denis Manturov on investments in the fight against cove, support for the automobile industry and certification of the “21st Century Mainline Aircraft” – MS-21
Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov
The deficit of protective masks and the main anti-malarial drug used to treat COVID-19 has been overcome, says Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov. Masks are produced and imported so much that stocks become too large, and investments in such production become risky. In an interview with Vedomosti, he also talked about how much production will fall and when industrial production will resume, why the first deliveries of the MS-21 aircraft will once again be postponed, and shared his vision of the work of trade missions, which was criticized by Federation Council Chairman Valentina Matvienko.
– In the Ministry of Industry and Trade, as I see it, the most stringent protection measures are masks, gloves, suits at the entrance of medical workers, temperature measurement, disinfection. Moreover, you are almost the “main violator” of the regime of self-isolation – judging by the news, you have more meetings and trips than all colleagues in the government. Are not you afraid of infection?
– For the first month, approximately from the second decade of March, I definitely did not go anywhere because we spent the day and spent the night in the ministry – it was not time for trips, and there was no need, because only the process of restructuring on new tracks was going on. Why then so many trips? Two reasons. First: in the online format it is impossible to inspect the production and make adjustments. It must be said that in almost all enterprises where I was, certain recommendations or changes in production logistics needed to be made. And the second reason: I could not personally thank the collectives of workers who reacted so responsibly to the tasks set for organizing the production of the entire anticode nomenclature.
At the Ministry of Industry and Trade, we are all regularly tested, and over the entire period the ministry’s team has probably only a few cases of cases, each of us is an emergency. And the units where the employees fell ill, we immediately completely removed to a remote site, provided quarantine. Well, the divided flows, access control, protection in the ministry and business trips – this is with us from the first day.
– Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been complaints, especially from the regions, about the lack of the most widely used medicine in the treatment of COVID-19 – the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine. Foreign manufacturers, such as the French Sanofi, discussed the possibility of increasing imports. How did you solve the problem?
– Hydroxychloroquine was practically not produced in Russia, but they managed to solve the issue of support, first of all, on their own. Thus, Biocom, a member of AFK Sistema, increased its output by 173 times and produced 800,000 packages in April and May, and another 320,000 packages in June. Later, Nanolek launched its production – 130,000 packages in June. Therefore, I can say that the current needs of our country in hydroxychloroquine are completely closed. If it is needed more, we have already insured ourselves and have worked out the organization of production of the drug at the facilities of the Kurgan plant Sintez (also owned by AFK Sistema). With a complete reprofiling for the production of hydroxychloroquine, the plant will be able to produce over 1 million packages of the drug per month from July 2020. All these production sites are included in the registration certificate, so there will be no problems with the operational launch of production.
As regards imports, he helped with another drug, Pharmstandard, agreed with the Swiss Hoffmann, La Roche, and in May imported more of the tocilizumab drug used for rheumatoid arthritis than last year.
– How much did Russian enterprises invest in the production of medicines for coronavirus and personal protective equipment?
– The government allocated 25 billion rubles to the Ministry of Industry and Trade to stimulate output growth and the development of new drugs. These funds were fully distributed in the form of soft loans from our Industrial Development Fund (FRP) back in May. Including 4 billion rubles. went on to develop the personal protective equipment industry. Moreover, the FRP for the first time in history credited not only the development of fixed assets, part of the money was issued for the purchase of raw materials. It was a comprehensive team work, which gave a quick result. We, together with Russian companies, promptly made decisions, made weekly plans for the release of drugs, redistributed production volumes in order to quickly fill the market with the necessary drugs.
– The release of what other drugs could the industry increase?
– The most significant growth was shown, of course, by hydroxychloroquine, I already talked about it. At the same time, in January-May, Farmsintez produced 25% more calidavir (an analogue of the drug kaletra, the initial indication for which was HIV) than for the entire last year. In April, the production of linezolid antibiotic doubled its production in the first quarter of 2019.
– Are Russian companies developing drugs against coronavirus? Does the Ministry of Industry and Trade support them?