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Russia reduced purchases of expensive HIV drugs in favor of cheaper ones | News from Germany about Russia | DW

The Ministry of Health of Russia has reduced purchases of expensive drugs from HIV in favor of cheaper medicines, said on Thursday, June 23, newspaper “Kommersant” with reference to public procurement materials. According to the publication, in 2022 the share of expensive foreign drugs for HIV treatment unparalleled, decreased to 55 percent, while in 2021 it was 67.3 percent.

Last fall, the department purchased the Eviplera drug from Johnson & Johnson at the expense of the 2022 budget for 1.9 billion rubles, which is half the previous volume of purchases. Aleksey Mikhailov, representative of the Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC), noted that this is the most expensive drug purchased by Russia for the treatment of HIV.

According to Mikhailov, the reduction in the volume of purchases of expensive medicines is a necessary measure, since funding for the purchase of medicines is not increasing, and the number HIV-infected continues to grow. The expert called this situation a “bounce back in therapy”, but at the same time noted that the purchase of cheap drugs would provide more patients with drugs.

Procurement of HIV drugs

According to Kommersant, since June, the Federal Center for Planning and Organization of Drug Supply, which is part of the Ministry of Health, has begun purchasing HIV drugs at the expense of funds provided for by the 2023 budget (30 billion rubles). Part of this amount has already been reserved in three-year contracts awarded in 2021 for the supply of raltegravir (ISentress by MSD), dolutegravir (GSK Tivicay) and etravirine (Intelence by Johnson & Johnson). This year was also purchased “Genvoya” from Gilead.

The publication notes that the purchase of this drug 596.6 million rubles were allocated – twice as much as a year earlier. However, estimates still show a decrease in the purchase of expensive foreign drugs and an increase in purchases of more budget-friendly drugs.

The Ministry of Health assured Kommersant that all patients with HIV on dispensary observation they receive drug therapy at the expense of the federal budget.

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