Moscow: Russia is facing acute shortage of some medicines, despite the country producing more of its own drugs, president Vladimir Putin said. He also suggested building up stocks of popular drugs to meet demand.
Russia has been facing tough Western sanctions imposed over the war in Ukraine, but prescription drugs are exempted.
In his televised meeting with government officials, Putin said: “There has been a shortage of some drugs, despite the fact that we saw production of pharmaceutical products in the (first) three quarters of last year grow by about 22 per cent.”
He further said that 60 per cent of medicines on the market are domestic drugs. “Nevertheless, a deficit has formed in some drugs, and prices have risen,” the Russian president said.
Putin further said: “We need to ensure there are supplies of the most popular drugs within a certain period of time.”
He also suggested that Russia could stockpile drugs for the flu season in the similar way it builds up gas reserves in the run-up to winter.
Putin said Russia does not restrict imports of drugs and continues to work with foreign manufacturers.
Why Russia is facing medicine shortage?
News agency Reuters mentioned people from the pharmaceutical industry saying that Russia has been hit by transport, insurance and customs hurdles caused by the Ukraine war.
Russia import a large share of medical equipment including pacemakers and radiotherapy devices from the United States and the European Union.
Days after Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, 2022, people of the country started to stock up on drugs. As per reports, Russian purchased a month’s worth of medicine in mere two weeks.
Russia imports most of its medical equipment, such as pacemakers and radiotherapy devices, from the European Union and the US.
With inputs from Reuters