According to a study by the Eapteka platform, in September the growth in demand for immunostimulants and antiviral drugs amounted to 300% year-on-year, antibiotics - 90%, vitamins and dietary supplements - 150%. The October demand, according to experts, may come close to the March demand, when the demand for certain drugs exceeded 500%.
Earlier, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that it was ready to promptly purchase drugs necessary for the needs of specific medical institutions, including abroad. The volume of purchases will be determined by the Ministry of Health.
The study of "Eapteka" also noted a surge in sales of vitamins and vitamin-containing complexes. "In September 2020, compared to September 2019, sales of vitamin D3 increased by 350%, vitamin C by more than 230%, E by 120% and Omeg3 by 150%," analysts say.
According to experts, in recent years, Russians have become more competent in the prevention and strengthening of their health, not trying to "extinguish" any infection with antibiotics or simply drugs known to them. "The growth in sales of fortifying agents, monovitamins and vitamin complexes traditionally occurs in the fall, but such sharp leaps are not typical for it. The COVID-19 pandemic influenced the demand. By taking vitamins and vitamin-containing complexes, consumers are trying to compensate for the lack of components of their usual lifestyle: walking, vacationing for sea, etc. In addition, in connection with the second wave of the pandemic, consumers are trying to strengthen their immunity as much as possible in order to resist the virus, "the researchers say.
In particular, the surge in demand for vitamin D (more than 350%), experts at Eapteka explain, is associated with widespread information that its deficiency poses a serious threat to health, including increasing the likelihood of developing a severe form of coronavirus infection.
The price does not affect demand: drugs in low, medium and high price categories show approximately the same percentage of growth. The average growth in the category "Vitamins and dietary supplements" for the period under review was 150%.
SberIndex data show that Russians' spending in the Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals segment is growing at an ever more active pace against the backdrop of a general decline in consumer spending.
As the executive director of the Union of Professional Pharmaceutical Organizations (SPFO) Lilia Titova said, there is an increased demand for certain types of drugs in pharmacies in many regions., and only after that the leftovers are distributed on the commercial market among the pharmacy chains. This was also accompanied by the difficulties that arose with the instability of the system for the introduction of labeled products into circulation, "the specialist explains. According to her, the participants in the pharmaceutical industry are counting on an early decision on the part of government agencies to simplify the introduction of marking codes along the entire distribution chain, which will allow stabilize the situation to a certain extent.
As reported to "RG" in the Ministry of Industry and Trade, at present, Russian pharmaceutical manufacturers have already prepared the necessary volumes of pharmaceutical substances and raw materials for the production of drugs intended for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19. The volume of manufactured products at the end of August 2020 doubled compared to the previous month, and over the past 6 weeks increased by 63% compared to April 2020. For certain groups of drugs, which are designated as scarce, there is an increase in production: azithromycin - an increase of more than 50%, sodium heparin - 328%, dexamethasone - 15 times. The release of interferon alfa-2b was also increased - more than 80%, enoxaparin sodium - seven times. In addition, production growth was recorded for certain drugs: Hydroxychloroquine - an increase in production volume amounted to 154%, Favipiravir - an increase in production volume amounted to 165%, Olokizumab - an increase in 495%, Umifenovir - an increase in production volume of 242%.
"Contacts of drug manufacturers were communicated to all constituent entities of the Russian Federation. At the moment, there is a positive trend in the supply of the retail pharmacy network with drugs corresponding to the INN azithromycin, interferon alpha, amoxicillin + clavulanic acid, paracetamol and umifenovir," the department stressed.