Healthy Life as a Growth Path


The expert discussion ‘Healthy Life as a Path of Growth: Uniting All, Available to Each’ was held as part of the Healthy Life Area on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. During the session, experts discussed public policy measures that help to strengthen medical care in terms of the prevention and early diagnosis of socially significant diseases, and also identified a number of practical steps on the part of the state, the medical community, and business that aim to reduce health risks for the most vulnerable people during the pandemic, including citizens with cardiovascular diseases.

The event was attended by Oleg Salagay, Russian Deputy Minister of Health; Yevgeny Shlyakhto, Director General of the Almazov National Medical Research Centre and President of the Russian Society of Cardiology All-Russian Non-Governmental Organization; Oksana Drapkina, Director of the National Medical Research Centre for Preventive Medicine of the Russian Ministry of Health; Vitaly Omelyanovskiy, General Director of the Centre for Healthcare Quality Assessment and Control of the Russian Ministry of Health; Niels Hessmann, General Director of Bayer and General Representative in Russia and the CIS of Bayer AG; Yury Zhulev, President of the Russian Hemophilia Society; and Vadim Kukava, Executive Director of the Innovative Pharma Association of Pharmaceutical Companies.

“The problem of combating non-communicable diseases during the pandemic remains as important as ever. Unfortunately, they also continue to take lives. According to the World Health Organization, 3.6 million people have died from coronavirus in the world, while 41 million people die from non-communicable diseases a year. The economic burden of non-communicable diseases is RUB 4 trillion, which is comparable to the entire healthcare budget. In addition, non-communicable diseases are also dangerous because they increase the risk of infection and severe cases of infectious diseases, including coronavirus. People are always at the heart of the public healthcare system. Non-communicable diseases are largely determined by human behaviour. Thanks to the pandemic, we have formed behavioural immunity habits, started wearing masks, washing our hands more often, and being more attentive to our own health. These are the positive changes that are important to preserve forever,” Russian Deputy Minister of Health Oleg Salagay said.

The pandemic showed that a responsible attitude to personal health is one of the basic values of a healthy society, which must have a high level of solidarity and resistance to the challenges of overwhelming disasters. A state must have sufficient potential so that in a force majeure situation it has the resources to provide timely and effective medical care to patients with severe and chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, malignant growths, and diseases of the endocrine system, among others. The coronavirus crisis has become a vivid precedent of consolidation of the public and state in each other’s interests. By choosing the path of health protection, the public, on the one hand, helps the state to free up resources to provide high-quality medical care. On the other hand, the public prompts the creation of effective infrastructure for strengthening people’s health, early diagnosis, and disease prevention.

“The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of innovation and collaboration in healthcare. Bayer is actively helping to combat the pandemic. In Russia, we have already donated our products, money, and personal protective equipment valued at more than RUB 64 million. Globally, Bayer has signed an agreement with biotech company CureVac to jointly develop, manufacture, and deliver a vaccine against COVID-19. All these activities are fully consistent with the vision of our company: a world without disease and hunger,” said Niels Hessmann, General Director of Bayer and General Representative in Russia and the CIS of Bayer AG.