Major pharmaceutical companies are ending or reducing their business relationships with Russia in response to the war in Ukraine, though most companies say they'll keep sending essential drugs for humanitarian reasons.
U.S.-based Pfizer, maker of the COVID-19 vaccine with its European partner BioNTech, doesn't own any manufacturing plants in Russia but says it will stop planned investments and all clinical trials there, though it will keep supplying drugs to already enrolled patients.
"Ending delivery of medicines, including cancer or cardiovascular therapies, would cause significant patient suffering and potential loss of life, particularly among children and elderly people," Pfizer said in a Monday news release.
Profits from Pfizer's Russian subsidiary will be donated to humanitarian support for the people of Ukraine.
Eli Lilly says it will also stop sending non-essential medicines to Russia, including the erectile dysfunction drug Cialis, Endpoints News reported. Its Russian sales will also go for humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Bayer will stop all spending in Russia and Belarus that's not related to supplying essential products for health and agriculture, the company said in a news release. The company will suspend all advertising and promotions, halt capital investment projects, and not pursue any business opportunities.
However, Bayer said it will decide later about sending supplies for 2023 and beyond, "depending on Russia stopping its unprovoked attacks on Ukraine and returning to a path of international diplomacy and peace."
Bayer says it has about 700 employees in Ukraine who it will continue to support.
Merck told Endpoints the company will make no more investments in Russia and will stop enrolling patients in ongoing clinical trials.
Bristol Myers Squibb will suspend clinical trials in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia, Endpoints said. The company has about 160 employees in Russia but no manufacturing facilities.
According to Endpoints, Roche will continue operations in Russia for the time being "since their Russian colleagues play a role in access to medicine." A company spokesperson told Endpoints that new patient enrollments are on hold in Russia. Roche has no manufacturing facilities in Russia.
Pfizer. "Pfizer Updates Company Position in Russia"
Endpoints News. "BREAKING: Novartis, Eli Lilly and AbbVie join growing list of Big Pharmas severing ties with Russia"
Bayer. "Bayer Statement on Ukraine"
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Cite this: Ralph Ellis. Pharmaceutical Companies Cutting Ties With Russia - Medscape - Mar 16, 2022.