21 Mar 2022 12:39

All pharmaceutical companies confirm that shipments of medicines to Russia will continue - health minister

MOSCOW. March 21 (Interfax) - All pharmaceutical companies have confirmed stable shipments of drugs to Russia, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said.

"All pharmaceutical companies have confirmed to us today that shipments of drugs are continuing. In terms of listed life-saving medicines, we have regulated prices, and we are receiving these medicines in a stable manner," Murashko said at a videoconference on the accessibility of medicines organized by United Russia offices and the Health Ministry.

Demand has remained high for the past three weeks, he said. "Interestingly, this rush in demand was generally provoked by fake news and by incorrect information on a number of drugs," Murashko said.

The Russian health minister went on to ask consumers "not to create a rush in demand." "All these medications are available. They are arriving, and there are no risks to planned treatment," he said.

This particularly concerns L-Thyroxine, or Levothyroxine, a drug for thyroid treatment, he said. "The volumes of drugs sold by pharmacies have actually grown more than fourfold compared to usual sales. Besides, there is a sufficient quantity of this drug in storage and it is in stock with wholesale vendors. From both domestic and foreign producers. So the wholesalers are shipping it very actively right now, and the logistics network has rolled out additional capacities, including in terms of delivery," Murashko said.

There was a higher-than-usual demand for insulin over several days, but "the logistics system processed it immediately," he said.

"We have a marking system working today, which makes it possible for us to see all stockpiles across the country [...]. There is a new system in place to provide information, particularly about manufacturers and that of [Russia's Healthcare Watchdog] Roszdravnadzor, maintained jointly with the Industry and the Trade Ministry, [to provide information] on measures to prevent shortages," Murashko said.