While Russia’s measures to fight the pandemic will cost it around 2.8% of its gross domestic product, a A black market has developed in Russia for an antiviral HIV drug explored as a possible treatment for COVID-19.
According to sellers, HIV activists and the head of the drug’s main Russian producer, speculators who bet that shortages of the Kaletra, or Kalidavir as it is named in Russia as generic produced by R-Pharm , due to the usage as COVID-19 treatment might arise as the coronavirus spread.
Kaletra in Russia is purchased in bulk by the government and distributed to registered HIV patients for free, but interruptions in supplies are not uncommon, so many integrate their stocks privately from pharmacies.
People whitoout Russian passport and others that are not registered for various reasons also buys private supplies from pharmacies.
Alexei Repik, R-Pharm chief executive, said that for the first time Kaletra has been seen to be sold illegally in pharmacies without a prescription.
R-Pharm supports police in tracking the drugs being sold illegally, Repik said, because black market sales means shortage for patients who truly need it