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Buying OTC drugs online? Not a problem in Russia anymore!

Ever since 2017, the Russian government was considering launching an online sale of Consumer Health drugs.


President Vladimir Putin has once again vocalized this idea in the very beginning of 2020, however, there was no draft or law following. On the 17th of March, Vladimir Putin officially signed a decree on the possible internet sale of OTC drugs.


The Decree on remote sale of OTC drugs entered into force the day it was signed – the 17th of March 2020

Who is concerned?

Not only ordinary pharmacies in Russia but also veterinary pharmacies received the right to sell OTC drugs online – both on the website and via a mobile application. To carry out this type of activity they, however, need to have a license for the drug trade.

Why now?

The current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing the buttons everywhere around the globe now. The online sale of OTC drugs is yet another effort to resist the rapid spread of coronavirus in Russia.

Is everyone satisfied with the new decree?

Not the Russian Association of Pharmacy Chains, apparently. From their point of view, the initiative may lead to an increase in the number of people falling ill. They believe that as soon as receiving medication and knocking down symptoms people will not eliminate the cause of the disease and will, therefore, continue infecting others.

Consumer Heath Market in Russia 45-50% of the total pharma market

Unlike other countries the classification of free sale drugs (OTC medicine) in Russian in much broader defined compared to other countries. The market size for Consumer Health products is 45-50% of the total pharma market. There is no other healthcare market in the world, in which the OTC market has such big importance.

Featured image: Photo by Serhii Tyaglovsky on Unsplash


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