Glove MRI machines: Western supplies hit, Russia leans on Indian medical equipment

With EXISTING supply chains from the US and Europe disrupted due to its invasion of Ukraine, Moscow’s trade promotion body, the Russia Business Council, is in talks with India for the supply a wide range of medical equipment: from implants to prostheses, X-rays, ECG and MRI machines to surgical needles, instruments and gloves.

A meeting between Indian and Russian stakeholders as well as the Ministry of Commerce is scheduled for April 29 and India’s business ambassador Olga Kulikova told Indian Express Moscow that of the eight major categories of medical devices that Russia was considering, there were dental equipment, medical furniture and cosmetology devices.

Russia, by the way, had become one of the biggest importers of cosmetics and cosmetology equipment from South Korea, but the invasion of Ukraine blocked this trade. Russia imports a significant portion of its medical equipment from the European Union and the United States, estimated at $1.6 billion a year.

“There are no shortages of most medical devices in Russia yet, but although the medical devices are not on the sanctions lists, supplies from our partners in the UK, US, in France and Germany have been hit hard,” Kulikova said. “So the situation is unpredictable. We hope that India will pay attention to this potential that has opened up in the Russian market.

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“Our stocks of essential medical devices were sufficient, but it is no longer possible for Russia to import medical equipment, implants or devices from the Western world. We look to India because it is a leader in the manufacture of several categories of medical devices such as orthopedic implants and syringes,” she added.

Earlier this month, the Business Russia Council and the Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD) began talks with the Indian organization after sending a list of about 100 Indian medical device manufacturers registered in Moscow.

On the agenda for the upcoming discussions are the registration of Indian medical devices and equipment in the Russian Federation and the EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union) and the processes required for documentation and translation as well as the sampling and testing of medical devices and equipment.

According to Rajiv Nath, forum coordinator for AiMeD, a major advantage was the fact that a memorandum of understanding had already been signed in 2020 between them and the Russian public organization Business Russia for cooperation in the sector.

“Russia is a huge potential market for Indian medical devices and equipment and we are looking at a favorable rupee-ruble exchange rate and the relaxation of regulatory barriers to accelerate these exports,” he told The Indian Express.

According to a Reuters report, exports of essential medical devices to Russia from the West have been “partially restored, reducing the immediate risk of deadly shortages after a near total collapse when the war in Ukraine began”.

“While medical devices and prescription drugs are exempt from sanctions, their delivery to Russia has been hit by transportation, insurance and customs obstacles caused by war and restrictive measures,” Reuters reported. .