Business operations

Novartis, Lilly, Merck and more suspend business operations in Russia

More and more pharmaceutical companies are participate in the economic pressure effort on Russia by suspending all or part of the operations in this country after the invasion of Ukraine.

A day after Pfizer announced it was the cessation of its business practices in Russia, AbbVie, Abbott, Novartis, Merck and Eli Lily followed suit. This morning, Merck announced its intention to stop all investments made in Russia to protest the invasion. As Pfizer and other companies, the pharmaceutical giant would continue to provide lifesaving medicines to support ongoing humanitarian efforts. According to Reuters, which was the first to report Merck’s decision, the company noted that it had sent 135,000 cycles of its COVID-19 antiviral pill, molnupiravir, to Ukraine under a previously agreed supply deal. with this government. There are growing fears of a virus outbreak in Ukraine due to the proximity of people sheltering in bunkers to avoid Russian artillery.

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly announced it was suspending sales of ‘non-essential drugs’ in Russia, according to Reuters. The company will, however, continue to send drugs developed for cancer and diabetes into the country. Additionally, Lilly is suspending all investments in Russia and will not launch any new clinical programs in the country.

“We have also suspended all investments, promotional activities and new clinical trials in Russia, as well as the export of non-essential drugs to this country. Our operations in Russia are now solely focused on ensuring people with conditions such as cancer and diabetes continue to get the Lilly medicines they need. If we generate profits from our sales in Russia, we will donate them to organizations dedicated to humanitarian aid,” Eli Lilly said in a statement. declaration on its website.

Novartis has halted its investments and marketing activities in Russia. In addition, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant has ceased “all scientific events organized by the company or external parties in Russia”, Reuters noted.

Johnson & Johnson halted clinical program enrollments, while Illinois-based AbbVie ceased operations of its aesthetic business in Russia, which includes the successful Botox treatment.

Bayer and Abbott have also halted business operations. In a statement on Tuesday, life sciences giant Bayer said it would end all non-essential operations in Russia and Belarus “while ensuring continued access to health and agricultural products.”

“In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Bayer halted all spending in Russia and Belarus that is not related to the supply of essential health and agricultural commodities. This includes suspending all advertising and other promotional activities, halting capital investment projects indefinitely, and not pursuing new business opportunities,” the company said in a statement. declaration.

Since the start of the invasion, life science leaders have widely condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Earlier this month, more than 400 leaders within the pharmaceutical and biotech industries signed an open letter condemning the invasion and calling for economic disengagement. The signatories of the letter, which included Jeremy Levin, Chairman and CEO of Ovid Therapeutics; Meg Alexander, Director of Corporate Affairs, Ovid Therapeutics; Jean MaraganoreFounding CEO of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals; Paul Hastings, Chairman and CEO of Nkarta Therapeutics and also current Chairman of BIO; among others, called for a halt to new investments in the Russian market, as well as for the refusal of any financing from Russian investors.