Why pharma companies aren't exiting Russia

Hundreds of companies worldwide are limiting or pulling operations in Russia amid the war with Ukraine, but pharmaceutical companies are absent from this list, Kaiser Health News reported March 10.

Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis and Abbott are among the companies that said they plan to continue manufacturing and selling their medications in Russia, even as airlines, banks and major technology giants make high-profile exits from the country. Their rationale: Russians need access to medications, too.

Many drugmakers also say international humanitarian law requires them to keep operations going in Russia.

"As a healthcare company, we have an important purpose, which is why at this time we continue to serve people in all countries in which we operate who depend on us for essential products, some life-sustaining," Scott Stoffel, divisional vice president for Abbott Laboratories, told Kaiser Health News. 

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the company won't make further investments with Russia but won't cut ties, and Novartis said it's expanding humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and working to ensure continued supply of its medications in the country, according to the report.

Johnson & Johnson also said it remains "committed to providing essential health products to those in need in Ukraine, Russia and the region, in compliance with current sanctions and while adapting to the rapidly changing situation on the ground."

View the full article here.

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