Russia’s only cystic fibrosis hospital to be repurposed for wounded Ukraine veterans

The only hospital in Russia that specialises in treating cystic fibrosis is to be redesignated for the treatment of Russian soldiers wounded in Ukraine, a source with knowledge of the situation has told Novaya Europe.

The Pletnev City Clinical Hospital in Moscow is to be “shut off so that only those who served in Ukraine can be treated”, Novaya Europe’s source said, adding: “After that they will shut the hospital down for good.”

Cystic fibrosis patients who are now being transferred to a different hospital in Moscow for treatment have confirmed this to be the case. The Pulmonology Research Institute at Moscow’s Sechenov University is expected to take over the lion’s share of outpatient care for cystic fibrosis patients in Russia.

The Pletnev City Clinical Hospital. Photo: the hospital’s website

The Pletnev City Clinical Hospital. Photo: the hospital’s website

Cystic fibrosis is a life-limiting genetic disease which causes the body to overproduce thick mucus, which particularly affects the lungs and digestive system. There are between 400–500 adults suffering from cystic fibrosis in Russia today.

Russians with cystic fibrosis currently only receive low-quality generic Russian versions of name brand medications that were originally developed abroad. These generic medications are often not tested and have not gone through rigorous purification processes and therefore can give unpredictable results when mixed with other medication.

Russian federal law stipulates that Russian pharmaceutical companies must be prioritised over foreign counterparts and therefore doctors can be dismissed for attempting to prescribe name brand medication. This is what happened with one of Russia’s leading pulmonologists Yelena Amelina, who was fired in 2023 after attempting to prescribe name brand drugs.

The lack of necessary treatment and medication in Russia leads Russians suffering from cystic fibrosis to look abroad for medical assistance. At least 20 cystic fibrosis patients and their families have left Russia due to a lack of necessary treatment, while others order medicine from countries such as Turkey, where no prescription is required to purchase cystic fibrosis medication.

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