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Last year in 2017 medical device, apparatus and pharmaceutical product imports to Russia from Western countries was 15 milliard euro/year. It is 18% of all imports to Russia. The annual growth rate of medical imports was very strong. 

IMEDA is the medical trade & business association in Russia. Today IMEDA has about 40 member companies representing the world`s leading high-tech medical companies. Members include international companies, like Abbot, 3M, Alcon, Arthrex, Ascensia, Bard, Baxter, Bayer, BD, Beckman Coultier, Bella, Bio-Rad, BioMerieux, Biotronik, Boston Scientific, Canon Medical, Cardinal Health, Cepheid, Fraeger, Edwards Lifesciences, Fresenius Kabi, Fresenius Medical, Fujifilm, GE Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, Kavo Kerr, Medtronic, Merit medical, Merz Pharma, Mölnlycke, Olympus, Omron, Paul Hartmann, Philips, Reckitt Benckiser, Roche, SCA, Siemens Healthineers, Smith & Nephew, Sorin Group, Stryker, Sysmex, Terumo, Ursapharm, Valeant and Zimmer.

There are hundreds and even thousands of more Western companies selling medical products in Russia especially in the medical device, equipment and facilities segment. 


“MEDSI” is Russia`s largest private national healthcare chain. Its owner is “Sistema” holding corporation. “MEDSI” offers a full range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services. It has over 2.100 doctors and many times more paramedics and other employees. Number of surgeries is  8.000 operations/year and number of visitors is about 7 million patients/year. The combined floor area of its clinics is over 220.000 m2 consisting of some 1.900 clinical medical  cabinet rooms. Annual growth rate of business volume is strong around 15 %/year. Medical systems and devices are Western made modern imports. Head office of “MEDSI” is in Moscow: decisions for purchases and procurement of medical devices from any manufacturers or/and distributors are made by head office.

“MEDSI” invested US$ 760 million or 650 million euros for construction of one single new hospital in 2016. It plans to open four more hospitals in 2018, with several more hospital and clinic center projects in its plans.

“MD Medical Group” is focusing on medical care of women and children. Letters M and D in the name come directly from Russian words “Mama” (Mother) and “Detskij” (Children).  “MD” has 5 hospitals on level state-of-the-art and 31 medical clinics. It is a private medical company and its stocks are listed in London Stock Exchange since 2012. “MD” has its hospitals and clinics in 17 major cities in various parts of Russia. “MD” reports and markets to customers that it invests only in the best Western state-of-the art medical devices and systems and facilities, and it recruits and retains the best and most well-qualified physicians, doctors and other qualified medical personnel. The very core focus of business activity is on the top-level technology and high-quality medical services to its customers. Investment and purchase decisions for Western medical products are made in Moscow. “MD” has about 55.000 in-patient treatments (patient days) and 1.400.000  out-patient visits per year, with a strong growth trend. Net profit margin of “MD” company is 19%: a very profitable business year after year. “MD” continuously expands its business and netwOrk chain of hospitals and clinics in various parts of Russia.


In pharmaceutical sector the market share of “TOP-10” distributors is high 82%. “Top-4” Russian pharma importers & distributors have a staggering 48% market share, it means about half of the market: Rosta, Protek, Katren and CIA. Large distributors own one or several pharmacy chains, like: Protek, R-Pharm, SIA, etc. These pharma chains develop actively their own products and production for them. Production machinery is very often purchased from Western manufacturers: domestic manufacture of production machinery does not really exist among the very marginal light industry sector of Russia.

There are over 50.000 pharmacy sales outlet shops in Russia. Big pharmacy chains and their chain brands are like “Apteka 36,6”, “A5”, “Rigla” and “Neopharm”.

Western and local major drug manufacturers prefer not to work directly with retail pharmacy chains of pharmacies directly. Drug manufacturers rely instead on distributors to promote their products to retail outlet chains. Distributors have vast networks of contacts and they work directly with retail distribution channels.

The role of local Russian distributors and importers is very strong and important to Western companies also with medical devices and equipment. They are the core target group for sales efforts and selling of medical systems. They have necessary business contacts to final customers and decision makers for reaching sales contracts.

Distributors deal only with products that have acquired mandatory medical certification in Russia. Only certified products can be imported, marketed, sold and distributed in Russia.  


High and middle income population are the end users of medical services. This population segment is about one third (“35%”) of the total population: an estimated 50 million people out of Russia`s total population 145 million people. On practical business terms this means that Western producers and manufacturers of medical devices, equipment and pharmaceuticals  have a very attractive market to satisfy the needs of 50 million people in Russia. There is actually no modern or advanced local own domestic production and manufacturing the needs of this segment. It is satisfied with imports from Western countries and from Western manufacturing companies.

Low income and poor population together are about 65% of the total population. It means roughly about 100 million people. The share of poor people alone is about 20% of population meaning 30 million people. The healthcare and medical service of the segment for poor people is by public sector and it is in general on a very unsatisfactory level. The lower middle income segment of population makes  the largest share of population about 45-55% with some 70 million people. Most of them use public state and/or municipal healthcare systems. The healthcare and medical facilities in this public segment are still on a poor level compared to Western standards and systems.

Employed workers in the middle income segment are very much interested to obtain so called “medical insurance coverages” arranged and paid by their employees. This is in many cases  a status symbol in Russia. Many “medical insurances” are actually just access cards and permissions to use the services of assigned private medical clinic. The basic “medical insurance fee” is typically 500 to 800 euro/year per person and practically always paid by the employer company. Medical visits etc are invoiced separately. 

Middle income classes of people are increasingly demanding Western standards of medical and healthcare services in Russia. This means more and more demands for Western medical equipment, systems and pharmaceuticals. Spending on private healthcare in Russia has risen ten-fold during the past 15 years. It is really an impressive growth of private sector medical healthcare. Private sector approaches to account for almost a third of the total market in Russia.

About 500.000 Russians travel overseas to Western countries each year for surgery or medical treatment. It means that there is a segment of population able to pay for any expenses and costs for their expections of high quality state-of-the-art medical care. This kind of overseas medical treatment abroad at least partially may be compensated with the local offerings in Russia by state-of-the art private clinics and hospitals continually expanding in the country.


FOXX is a Finnish business consulting company. FOXX has it´s own subsidiaries in Russia and the other "former USSR countries" since 1992. In Moscow,  FOXX-Russia is located inside the building complexes of The Russian Academy of Medical Sciences since 1993. The Academy is responsible of medical and healthcare matters of the entire of Russia. It has its own hospitals, R&D institutes and centers, clinics, laboratories and units authorizing the certification organisations for medical devices and pharmaceutical products.

FOXX provides business services to Western companies for Russia. In medical business & industry typical services provided by FOXX are:

*   Certification of medical devices and equipment for importing and selling products in Russia

*  Providing official evaluations and quotations for price and procedure of certification

*   Sourcing and selecting distributors and importers for Western company in Russia

*  Market studies, including establishing contacts with important customers in Russia

*   Outsourced local sales personnel to enforce selling, marketing and customer contacts in Russia (without any need for establish own company in Russia)

Western medical device, equipment and pharmaceutical business and industry will increase successfully in Russia in many years to come. We would be delighted to offer and provide our business services to your company`s specific needs for business and exports in Russia. Our contact address IS:   pirkko.leiviska@foxx.fi

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