Standing in Solidarity

Published on: 
Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology, March 2022 Issue, Volume 46, Issue 3

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, industry leaders speak out in condemnation of the actions taking place and pledge to provide aid to those in need.

In February 2022, Russia commenced its invasion of neighbouring country Ukraine, in the largest military attack on the continent of Europe since World War II. Shortly thereafter, business leaders from the life sciences industry called on their peers to take immediate action by stopping work with any Russian companies and rejecting investments from Russian funds (1). The open letter garnered a monumental response and currently features, at the time of writing, 860 signatories.

Globally, sanctions—considered to be the toughest actions possible before going to war—have been placed on Russia by numerous governments. Although these sanctions, which include the removal of Russian banks from the international financial system and bans on Russian flights, are not applicable to medicine and medical equipment, there are concerns that there will still be significant disruptions to supply (2).

Of course, the bio/pharma industry has a duty of care to ensure medicines and vaccines are delivered to those in need, a point that was emphasized by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA): “Our first priority is to ensure that medicines reach the patients that need them in Ukraine, in the neighbouring [European Union] EU Member States, in Russia, and in other countries where access to medicines may be negatively impacted. We call on all parties to facilitate the safe passage of medicines and vaccines to those in need,” EFPIA said in a news release (3).

As was demonstrated by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the bio/pharma industry has the capacity to act quickly in crisis situations, and this recent emergency is proving no different. Many companies have already made donations and committed their support to humanitarian efforts (2). EFPIA explained the reaction of industry well in their release, which stated, “The research-based pharmaceutical industry in Europe stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. We condemn the invasion of their country and express our sorrow at the suffering it has caused. As an industry dedicated to saving and improving lives, we stand for peace” (3).


The thoughts of all at Pharmaceutical Technology Europe and MJH Life Sciences are with those affected, and we hope that a peaceful resolution to this situation will be swift.


1. Business Leaders for Ukraine, “Call for Business Leaders to Economically Disengage from Russian Industry,” Medium, Open Letter, 27 Feb. 2022.
2. F. Guarascio, M. Erman, and S. Jacobsen, “Drugmakers, Device Companies Say Sanctions May Hinder Medical Supplies to Russia,” Reuters, News, 3 March 2022.
3. EFPIA, “Pharmaceutical Industry Response to the War in Ukraine,”, News Release [last updated on 11 March 2022].

About the author

Felicity Thomas is the European editor for Pharmaceutical Technology Group.

Article details

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe
Vol. 34, No. 3
March 2022
Page: 6


When referring to this article, please cite it as F. Thomas, “Standing in Solidarity,” Pharmaceutical Technology Europe 34 (3) 2022.