On November 17, a historic signing of a long-term agreement for the supply of original patented medicines took place between the Swiss company F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, the Single Distributor SK-Pharmacia LLP, Nobel Almaty Pharmaceutical Factory JSC (Nobel AFF) and the Kazakhstan Research Institute of Oncology and radiology (KazNIIOiR) on the basis of the Localization Agreement signed on December 1, 2022 between the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Roche.

      The official signing of the Long-Term Agreement took place within the framework of the key investment event in the country - the Kazakhstan Round Table on Global Investment, chaired by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan A. Smailov.

The signing of the Long-Term Agreement opens the door to the local production of three biotechnological drugs developed by Roche, which are intended for the treatment of oncological diseases, namely breast cancer.


Oncological diseases are the leading cause of death in Kazakhstan. Over the past 20 years, the incidence of cancer in the country has increased by 25%. Currently, more than 205,000 Kazakhstanis are under dynamic observation due to cancer. More than 37,000 new cases are detected annually, with a slightly higher incidence in women compared to men (57% and 43%, respectively). This is because breast cancer is the leading cancer among women.

        In 2021-2022, based on the President’s instructions to take significant measures to treat HER-2 positive breast cancer in Kazakh patients, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan entered into a Framework Agreement, and then a Localization Agreement with Roche, a world leader in development and production innovative medicines. Roche became the first transnational pharmaceutical company to initiate negotiations on creating local production in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

As part of the Localization Agreement, Roche has committed to ensure the transfer of advanced technology and know-how for the local production of three biotechnological medicines on a contract manufacturing basis and the subsequent supply of original patented medicines by a local partner under a Long-Term Agreement. This important step will help reduce the cost and increase the availability of high-quality medicines for all patients with breast cancer in Kazakhstan.

            The Single Distributor and Nobel AFF will take on the role of key partners in this historic initiative, providing production and distribution functions in Kazakhstan. The products will be localized on the territory of the republic and will be supplied by the Single Distributor to the country's medical organizations within the framework of the GMBP and compulsory medical insurance.

Cooperation between KazNIIOiR and Roche will ensure the availability of innovative anticancer drugs for cancer patients.

“Thanks to the localization of anticancer drugs, patients with breast cancer will be provided with personalized treatment with Roche drugs and will ensure coverage of patients in the Republic of Kazakhstan with HER-2 positive breast cancer, who will receive treatment with innovative original drugs, the effectiveness of which is according to modern protocols. It is precisely such bold and ambitious goals that allow healthcare to develop for the benefit of all citizens of the country. Localization of anticancer drugs from the pharmaceutical giant Roche will ensure coverage of the increasing number of patients with HER2-positive breast cancer (1242 patients in 2024, 1295 in 2025, 1335 in 2026),” noted the chief freelance oncologist of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Chairman of the Board of KazNIIOiR JSC » Dilyara Kaidarova.

On average, up to 5 thousand patients with breast cancer are diagnosed annually in Kazakhstan, and up to 1,200 women die. This situation has been stable since 2004; in addition, breast cancer ranks first in the structure of female cancer pathology.

            In approximately 18-20% of cases, patients with breast cancer have an increased level of HER2 in tumor cells, which in turn can lead to a more aggressive course and faster progression of the disease, a worse response to hormonal and cytostatic therapy.

The single distributor takes an active position in the development of cooperation in the field of pharmaceuticals between Kazakhstan and Switzerland, initiating a number of bilateral meetings to consider ways of partnership. And today’s conclusion of a Long-term Agreement was the result of all previous agreements and close interaction with one of the leading pharmaceutical companies - Roche.

“The Long-Term Agreement was signed with the aim of improving the quality of life of patients suffering from breast cancer and promoting scientific and medical research in Kazakhstan. We, as a Single Distributor, express our full readiness to perform our functions under the Long-Term Agreement and continue comprehensive work on the dynamic development of the industry, including attracting BigPharma to the domestic pharmaceutical market,” said the head of the Single Distributor, Erkhat Iskaliev.

The head of state noted that domestic science should act as the vanguard in modernizing the national economy. The key effect of such cooperation will be the promotion of scientific and medical research in Kazakhstan.

      Cooperation with the global pharmaceutical giant Roche will bring to Kazakhstan not only new technologies, but its entire philosophy of health. Health philosophy is a comprehensive approach to understanding and achieving health. Today we see the galloping growth of technologies that are changing the practice of healthcare delivery, the healthcare system and the world as a whole. Today, in addition to localizing production, the company intends to continue cooperation and conduct a number of joint projects in the country.

For example, at the School of Medicine of Nazarbayev University, an innovative training center for laboratory diagnostics was created within the framework of the Localization Agreement signed between the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Roche. The company plans to supply this training center with reagents free of charge. The educational and innovative program at the training center is aimed at comprehensive advanced training and training of specialists from all over Kazakhstan.

       Thus, the pharmaceutical giant Roche provides assistance in the implementation of new diagnostic methods for research projects. This helps strengthen Kazakhstan's laboratory infrastructure and ensure its compliance with international standards. In addition, it will give impetus to the development of medical and pharmaceutical clusters in the country, the creation of which was initiated by the Single Distributor.

In addition, Roche, together with KazNIIOiR, conducts screenings, which allows for early detection of cancer.

       The formation and maintenance of a close relationship between science, education and existing pharmaceutical production will give impetus to the development of domestic science and strengthen the scientific heritage of Kazakhstan. New challenges must be seen as opportunities for real and fundamental change.

        Today’s signing of a long-term agreement marks an important step in the development of medicine and the fight against cancer in the Republic of Kazakhstan, opens up new prospects for patients and specialists in the field of oncology in Kazakhstan, calling for discoveries and innovations in the medical field, which will generally have a positive impact on the quality of life of patients, suffering from cancer.

      Such a global and historic step will definitely give impetus to the implementation of best practices in the development of the pharmaceutical industry and the transfer of innovative technologies, as well as the further promising development of the industry in Kazakhstan. This event confirms the commitment of all parties to strengthen cooperation in the field of health and will make a significant contribution to the fight against cancer in the region.

For reference:

F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd is a Swiss pharmaceutical company, one of the world's leading companies in the field of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. It is one of the leading manufacturers of biotechnological drugs in the field of oncology, orphan diseases, neurology, ophthalmology, virology, rheumatology and transplantation. Founded in 1896 in Basel. It has representative offices in 150 countries and a staff of about 90 thousand employees.

JSC "Nobel Almaty Pharmaceutical Factory" is a domestic manufacturer of medicines in Kazakhstan with expansion of activities in the CIS. Today, Nobel AFF produces 104 molecules, which are presented on the pharmaceutical market in the form of 228 drugs in different dosage forms and dosages. The list of products of JSC Nobel AFF, as the holder of the registration certificate, includes 62 imported products, including medicines and medical devices.

Kazakhstan Research Institute of Oncology and Radiology is a scientific-experimental and organizational-methodological center in Almaty. Provides oncological and radiological services to the population of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Established in 1960 in Almaty. Consists of 9 scientific and surgical departments, 3 radiological, 7 diagnostic and 3 experimental departments. The clinic has 430 beds. Postgraduate studies have been available since 1960.

SK-Pharmacy LLP - the Single Distributor system was created with the aim of providing medicines to the population within the framework of the guaranteed volume of free medical care and in the social health insurance system, increasing the sustainability and competitiveness of the pharmaceutical industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan, developing the pharmaceutical industry through the consolidation of government procurement of medicines

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