Nearly a year ago, word surfaced that Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine has caused such isolation (with companies pulling business out of Russia) that people were even struggling to find paper. Flash forward to this week, and Russian State TV has been advising people to start embracing a life of hardship like the people of Putin’s new BFF, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. (Never mind that Putin has plenty of Botox stashed away and zooms around on a cosmetology train.)
The “be like North Korea” type of sentiment won’t come as comfort for Russians who have been increasingly unable to find necessary medicines due to sanctions. Early on in the war, we heard about how the Viagra supply got cut off, but these days, Russia has come up with its own generic substitute. Yet that doesn’t help people who have a vital need for many hard-to-find prescription and over-the-counter drugs, which as Newsweek reports, approached the 100 mark and counting awhile back:
Over the past year, dozens of types of medicines have disappeared from pharmacies. Some in short supply include drugs to treat diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, blood pressure medication, antidepressants, antitumor drugs, antihistamines, antibiotics, antipyretics, and others, according to local media.
A commission created by Russia’s Ministry of Health also published a list in January of 97 drugs that are potentially in short supply. Meanwhile, doctors are voicing concerns over drug shortages and soaring prices in interviews with Russian news outlets.
The publication also spoke with surgeon Alexander Vanyukov, who revealed that even the most commonly taken medications that aren’t affected by sanctions are in short supply because their shipping time often exceeds their shelf life. That’s saying a lot.