The US pharmaceutical company MSD has stopped supplying and manufacturing the raltegravir-based drug Isentress for HIV patients in Russia, Kommersant reports, citing market sources.
Roszdravnadzor confirmed that the Russian subsidiary of the US company MSD Pharmaceuticals had notified the service of its plans.
One of the reasons for stopping the supply of Isentress may be the appearance of three generics of raltegravir on the Russian market at once. In October 2022, patent protection for the main substance expired, after which Promomed (Rolnavir), Pharmasintez (Raltegra) and PSK Pharma (Raltegravir PSK) released their own drugs.
All of them registered the same marginal price for their analogs, which turned out to be 34% lower than the original – RUR 12.5 thousand including VAT for 60 tablets.
According to RNC Pharma’s calculations, in the first six months of 2023 Pharmasintez and Promomed produced a total of 26.3 thousand packs of raltegravir with an annual demand of about 300 thousand.
The entry of cheaper generics into the market led to a reduction in government purchases of Isentress. According to Headway Company, in the first half of the year, regions purchased this drug for 10.2 million rubles, while its generics were purchased for 118.1 million rubles.
At the same time, the Ministry of Health purchased the bulk of Isentress for three years back in 2021. The cost of the contract amounted to 13.54 billion rubles. The ministry emphasized that the supply of the drug is still on schedule. But the agency is still buying generics.
According to the results of 2021, Russia has entered the top 5 countries with the highest rate of HIV spread, according to the data of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The situation with the spread of the disease is worse only in South Africa, Mozambique, Nigeria and India. Russia accounted for 2.9% of the world’s 1.5 million new infections.
After the publication of the study, the Ministry of Health accused UNAIDS of “another propaganda provocation”. According to the agency, the incidence of HIV in Russia from 2018 to 2021 decreased by 31.4%, from 58.6 to 40.2 people per 100,000 population. According to official data, a total of 851,800 cases of HIV infection have been registered in the country, or about 0.58% of the population.