Moscow pharmacies have run out of the children’s anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen in the form of suppositories (candles), which is included in the list of vital drugs, Vedomosti writes, citing data from the websites of large pharmacy chains and aggregators.
The medicine is not available on the Zdravcity and Apteka.ru websites, which are owned by large distributors Protek and Katren, as well as in Eapteka. Only suspension with active substance is available. There is no ibuprofen in suppositories and in the online catalogs of pharmacies Melodiya Zdorovya, Pharmacy Chain 36.6, Rigla and Be Healthy, as well as Doctor Stoletov and Ozerki Pharmacy. The vital drug was found in only one pharmacy in the Moscow region.
The shortage of ibuprofen has been observed since the beginning of 2023 due to high demand and limited supply, says the head physician of the Leader-Medicine medical center, pediatric infectious disease specialist Yevgeny Timakov. According to him, in suppositories, the drug is used in cases where the child is not ready to take the drug orally due to nausea.
Solid fat for candles is supplied to Russia by the German company Ioi Oleochemical, and the active substance in the production of suppositories is imported from China or India, follows from the data of the State Register of Medicines of the Ministry of Health (GRLS).
The cost of producing suppositories has recently risen, says a representative of one of the pharmaceutical companies. The rise in value began during the coronavirus pandemic, says the CEO of the analytical company DSM group Sergei Shulyak. According to him, the cost of the components rose by 15-30%, which made their production unprofitable in the face of low profitability of children’s forms of drugs.
The release of “Ibuprofen for children” in suppositories was previously refused by the company “Patent Pharm”. The stoppage of production occurred due to unprofitability, said Elena Suvorova, general director of the Altfarm plant. Prices for ibuprofen as a life-saving medicine are regulated by the state. Therefore, it is not possible to index the price for it to a profitable level, Suvorova explained.
The day before, Roszdravnadzor warned Russians about a shortage of medicines in pharmacies and delays in their delivery to the pharmacy network due to “increased demand”. The department assured that distributors are taking the necessary measures to quickly deliver medicines to pharmacy organizations. Earlier, pharmacies reported a shortage of antipyretics, antibiotics and certain drugs, including for the treatment of oncology.