Insulin, as well as a number of foreign products that contain insulin needed to treat diabetes, are slowly becoming scarce in Russian pharmacies, according to the Russian daily Kommersant, which explains the phenomenon by the lack of ingredients used to make the drug.
However, the Russian state health inspectorate Rosdravnadzor and an association of pharmacies explain the stagnation in insulin supply with a sudden surge in demand and purchases, while also reminding the Russian population that most insulin and diabetes medications are produced in Russia.
The patients the newspaper spoke with seemed to confirm that they are accumulating diabetic drugs manufactured abroad out of fear of sanctions, and also racing to buy the drugs manufactured in Russia out of fear of rising inflation.
Although the official sanctions imposed on Russia by Western countries do not affect pharmaceutical products, Russian manufacturers can still easily find themselves without the ingredients needed to produce medicines after European suppliers have almost completely stopped supplying them.
Russia has already imported 80 percent of its raw materials from two of its pharmaceutical rival powers, India and China, supply has also slowed down these two supply routes, and Russian reserves will be sufficient for up to three to six months.
Continuous production and supply of insulin is key for diabetes patients as it is sensitive to both heat and light and it cannot be stockpiled as it only has a shelf life of one year when unopened, but it drops to 28 days for opened vials.