Popular veterinary drugs continue to arrive in Russia through unofficial channels

Popular veterinary drugs continue to arrive in Russia through unofficial channels

Despite the suspension of supplies of popular pet medications to Russia, these products remained one of the top sales in the three quarters of 2023. These drugs continue to enter the country through unofficial channels, including marketplaces and postal services, and consumers prefer imported drugs due to their proven effectiveness. But Rosselkhoznadzor, which is discussing the introduction of regulation of sales of veterinary products on Internet platforms, is dissatisfied with this situation.

The veterinary drug "Bravecto" from the American MSD Animal Health remained the leader in retail sales in the segment of anti-tick and flea products for the first three quarters of 2023, according to data from RNC Pharma. During this period, sales volume of the product reached 2.57 billion rubles, although this is less by 22% year on year. Sales of another similar drug - Nexgard from the German Boehringer Ingelheim - increased by 45% in January-September, to 0.59 billion rubles.

Rosselkhoznadzor told Kommersant that both products have not been supplied to Russia since the beginning of 2023. In fact, the entire sales volume of Bravecto was provided by gray supplies, explains RNC Pharma development director Nikolai Bespalov. According to him, the last official deliveries of another tick and flea drug, Simparika, from the American Zoetis, were in August of this year, and its sales over the three quarters increased by 86% year-on-year, to 1.79 billion rubles.

At the same time, according to RNC Pharma, Bravecto increased in price over the year by an average of 60%, Nexgard - by 30%, Simparica - by 31%. Consumers prefer Bravecto and its imported analogues, since these are proven long-acting products, notes Tatyana Kolchanova, general director of the Union of Pet Business Enterprises. At the same time, according to her, Russian manufacturers mainly produce products that are less effective and have a shorter effect. Nevertheless, the demand for Russian analogues has also increased, notes Mr. Bespalov. Sales of the Bars line from AVZ increased by 36% in rubles, Rolfclub ZD from Ecoprom - by 52%, Binacar from Agrobioprom - by 68%.

“Bravecto”, “Nexgard” and “Simparika” are not available in the online stores of the Beethoven, Petshop, and Zapovednik chains, but they can be found on online platforms, for example, on Ozone and Yandex.Market. These marketplaces did not respond to Kommersant’s request. From the reviews it follows that some sellers sell them in foreign packaging. Rosselkhoznadzor notes the problem of “uncontrolled sale by private individuals of veterinary drugs on Internet sites.” By decision of the department, from September 2022 to September 2023, Roskomnadzor blocked more than 3 thousand Internet pages offering veterinary drugs for sale in violation of legal requirements. Of these, about 50% of decisions concern marketplaces, Rosselkhoznadzor points out.

The department explains that in such cases, the buyer and regulators do not know the storage conditions for drugs that are sold for delivery, including through parcel terminals. Without observing the temperature regime, drugs may lose their quality and not have the stated effect or even harm the health of pets, they added.

Recently, the number of requests from individuals and authorities to the Russian offices of international manufacturers with a request to confirm the authenticity of drugs has increased, says Semyon Zhavoronkov, executive director of the Association of Veterinary Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (AVFARM; includes MSD Animal Health, Boehringer Ingelheim, Zoetis). This, he said, also speaks of “the worsening of the black market problem.” He attributes the trend to new requirements for the sites of foreign manufacturers of veterinary drugs that came into effect on September 1. Because of this, according to AVFARM estimates, no more than 30 imported drugs for cats and dogs can now be officially supplied to the country.

Rosselkhoznadzor notes that the sale of veterinary drugs on the Internet is not regulated by law; this was discussed at a public council meeting in October. As the department reported, the participants agreed to check that sellers have a license. Wildberries has already included in the offer agreement a ban on the sale of veterinary drugs, the Union of Pet Business Enterprises previously reported. Wildberries did not respond to Kommersant’s request. AKIT President Artem Sokolov agrees that there are prerequisites for regulating the sales of veterinary drugs on marketplaces. In this case, in his opinion, regulation should be similar to drugs for which there is already established practice.

Polina Gritsenko

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