Belarus and Cuba signed a memorandum of understanding and cooperation in circulation of medicines, which will give and opportunity to recognize medicines produced in the two countries.
Cuba’s biotechnological and pharmacological solutions are of interest to Belarus. Vasily Zharko informed that one of these days he will meet with Cuban officials to discuss cooperation in this field.
Despite an insignificant share in Cuba’s GDP (about 3%), biotechnologies and pharmaceutics are among the country’s most advanced and important industries. Thanks to government financing, the companies of the industry are fitted with advanced foreign equipment that can produce medicines of any types and forms in accordance with global pharmaceutical standards. Cuba has over 220 healthcare and veterinary research centers; 53 research centers are directly involved in developing biotechnologies.
Since 2004, the production of medicines in Cuba rose 2.8 times to meet 95% of the country’s needs. The export of pharmaceutical products is estimated at over $500 million (180 names of drugs). Cuba produces over 300 types of medicines. The priority is given to vaccines, antibiotics, insulin, heart medicines and immune suppressors. Cuban scientists came up with unique technologies to diagnose and treat cancer, develop vaccines against hepatitis, meningitis and herpes.
Cuba established joint ventures in pharmaceutics with China, India, Vietnam, Brazil, Iran, Venezuela and South Africa.
Another promising scientific avenue is genetic engineering, in particular, cloning of cells of plants and animals used in production of new materials and drugs.
Cuba produces generic anti-tumor drugs with expired patent protection. According to the Healthcare Ministry of Belarus, in 2010 our country spent over $18 million on four drugs which generic versions are produced in Cuba. Cuban experts believe that $50-60 million worth of Cuban drugs can be sold in Belarus.