Russian Pharmacies Report 20% Jump in Revenue Amid Coronavirus Scare

A 20% increase in revenue in February 2020 year-on-year was recorded by Russian pharmacies, even before the coronavirus pandemic reached its current proportions, Izvestia reported on Monday, citing data provided in a monthly report from DSM Group agency.

The volume of the commercial drug market amounted to 100.9 billion rubles ($1.26 billion) in retail prices. According to the newspaper, in real terms, the drug market increased by 7.7% to 457.7 million packages.

At the same time, the average cost of a pack of medicine in the same period increased by 11.6% to 220 rubles ($2.75). According to the newspaper, in February the market structure in price segments changed in favor of expensive drugs relative to the same month a year earlier, while the weight of other segments in the market decreased.

Izvestia clarified that the growth in drug sales was not only due to respiratory and viral infections -Russians in general began to buy more drugs in almost all categories. As for medicine for the treatment of diseases of the respiratory system, in February 2020 they were higher than last year by 20.1% in money terms and amounted to 13.6 billion rubles ($170.34 million). In real terms, sales growth was 8.6%.

An increase was seen in sales of cardiovascular drugs – by 25.8% to 14 billion rubles ($175.35 million), medicine for digestive system – by 21.7% to 18.5 billion rubles ($231.7 million), drugs from diseases of the nervous system – by 16.8% to 11.1 billion rubles ($139.02 million). In addition, sales of dietary supplements have also increased, including vitamins, sedatives and weight loss products, to 6.1 billion rubles ($76.4 million) in February 2020, which is 31.2% more than in February 2019.