Drug Shortages in Russia Continue After Start of War with Ukraine


Polina Tankilevitch

Russian civilians face drug shortages after the start of the Russo-Ukrainian war.

Sophia Cacoilo, Reporter

Since the beginning of the Russo-Ukrainian war, close inspection has been placed on Russia and what is exported or imported. There have been reports since early March that Russians could not find certain medications in pharmacies, shortly after Moscow unleashed a war on Ukraine. Many speculate this decrease in medication can be correlated to the sanctions left on Russia, as an attempt to increase isolation from the rest of the world.

This leaves the Russian population in a difficult location, with the impact of the sanctions meant to limit political movement causing great distress in the people. This lack of medication and supplies leads to those Russian civilians who are not pro-war to still suffer from the repercussions of the war.

Research claims about a dozen people in different cities in late March said they had spent days searching for certain thyroid medications, types of insulin, or even a popular pain-relieving syrup for children. Some said they were unable to find them at all, a worrying discovery for many Russians across the country as it could leave many in pain or misery.

Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko has repeatedly given assurances that drug availability is not a problem in the country and has blamed any shortages on panic-buying. He said the demand for certain drugs has spiked tenfold in recent weeks, and he has urged Russians not to hoard the medications.

“I want to tell the public: you don’t need to stock up…The suppliers say that deliveries are continuing as planned.” Murashkin said in a televised cabinet meeting with President Vladimir Putin.”

Despite these reassurances from authorities that hoarding of supplies was to blame for the quickly emptying shelves, reports about shortages have persisted throughout March, seeping into April, with some remaining worried that high-quality medicines will keep disappearing in the Russian market.

So far, there is no mention from hospitals as to what affect this decline in medication has caused.