"Help Means Building Stable Structures" - Interview with Prof. Ivan Lugovoi

For about a year and a half, Russia has been waging war against Ukraine. At a joint conference on November 15, KLU and the German Eastern Business Association (OA) will take a closer look at the consequences of the war: What are the challenges for logistics and supply chains? What are the challenges of building up the Ukrainian economy? How have German economic relations with the region developed? Ahead of the conference, we spoke with KLU faculty member and pharmaceutical expert Prof. Ivan Lugovoi, who shared his assessments from both professional and personal expertise.

Ivan Lugovoi looks back on more than twenty years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. An economist and native of Ukraine, he is an expert on issues related to distribution, logistics, production and quality management in the pharmaceutical industry and will participate as an expert in the panel on supply chain management in Eastern Europe on November 15th. The challenges here are complex - and not just because of the war, he reveals in our interview.

How is the recent crisis in Ukraine affecting pharmaceutical logistics in the region?

Prof. Ivan Lugovoi: Ukraine was not a major player in the pharmaceutical market, partly due to political instability, trust and corruption problems. The pharmaceutical industry requires significant investment and an attractive local market, both of which have been difficult to achieve in Ukraine. I myself send medicines to Ukraine for my mother and grandmother, as they cannot be reliably obtained locally in terms of quality and availability. The recent crisis and ongoing instability further complicate the situation.

What brought you into the "pharma" field yourself, and thus ultimately to KLU?

Lugovoi: The more experience I gained, the more I realized the potential for positive change and innovation in this field. I came to KLU to continue contributing to the pharmaceutical industry and its supply chain while looking for opportunities to share my expertise. Previously, I held various positions in the pharmaceutical industry, and I also worked for the U.S. FDA for two years during my postdoc at the Ohio State University.

What role does the pharmaceutical industry play in global crises and conflicts? Can it contribute to the solution?

Lugovoi: The pharmaceutical industry can play a role by ensuring the availability and quality of medicines in times of crisis. Now the priority is humanitarian aid. However, it is important to address local issues such as corruption, trusted quality control and supply chain reliability. In addition, international cooperation and investment can help stabilize logistics of medicines in the region.

Another core topic of the Eastern Committee is the European Union's Green Deal and its impact in Eastern Europe. Does this also affect the pharmaceutical sector?

Lugovoi: The Green Deal and its sustainability goals are also of crucial importance for the pharmaceutical industry, especially with regard to logistics and supply chains. Currently, for example, work is underway to increase the use of ocean freight in the pharmaceutical sector. These important developments, which in any case do not yet occupy much space in many Eastern European countries, may be further eclipsed by crises. It is therefore important not to lose sight of the issue of sustainability, to which an association such as the German Eastern Business Association contributes.

Conference: Russia's War of Aggression - Challenges for Logistics and Supply Chains in Ukraine and Eastern Europe 2023-2024

Discuss with us: A good year and a half ago, Russia's war against Ukraine began. This also poses considerable challenges for logistics and securing supply chains. Together with experts from science, business and politics, including H.E. Oleksii Makeiev, Ambassador of Ukraine in Germany, we want to discuss with you: What are the consequences of the war for German economic relations with Ukraine and Eastern Europe? Which challenges have to be solved for the reconstruction of the Ukrainian economy? What contribution can Hamburg as a foreign trade location make to this?

Complete program and registration