Prozac disappears from Russian pharmacies

Russian pharmacies appear to have run out of the antidepressant Prozac, Russian newspaper RBC reported on Saturday, citing pharmacy chain data and pharmaceutical comparison sites.

As of 15 September, Prozac was available to buy in only four of almost 2,400 Moscow pharmacies that are part of the MegaApteka aggregation. In St. Petersburg, the drug was available in just two of 1,300 pharmacies. In the Novosibirsk and Kazan regions, it wasn’t available at all.

An RBC source in one of Russia’s largest pharmacy chains confirmed that the supply of Prozac had run out, and that those remaining on sale were left over from previous deliveries. Another source told RBC that the last deliveries took place in July.

US company Eli Lilly, which produces Prozac, announced it was leaving the Russian market in March, transferring the Russian distribution rights for all its products to Swixx Biopharma.

A representative of the Russian branch of Swixx Biopharma told RBC that Prozac deliveries were continuing and that there were no plans to stop them.

Russia’s Health Ministry also denied the suspension of Prozac deliveries, saying that there was no Prozac “deficit” in Russia.

Prozac was developed by Eli Lilly in the 1970s and went on to become one of the most widely used antidepressants in the world, typically being prescribed to treat clinical depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bulimia.

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