Support The Moscow Times!

Pharmacy in Russian Duma Sees Run on Sharapova's Drug of Choice

Maria Sharapova

A pharmacy at the State Duma has registered a spike in demand for meldonium after Russian tennis champion Maria Sharapova failed a doping test for the recently banned drug, the Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday.

“We used to order only one box of this medicine [at a time], but now we can't seem to deliver enough,” an unidentified employee at the legislature's pharmacy said, describing the demand as panic buying, Interfax reported.

The news of Sharapova failing the anti-doping test “seemed to have served as an advertisement for meldonium,” the pharmacist was quoted as saying.

Sharapova had announced earlier this month she had tested positive for the drug at the Australian Open, adding that she had taken the medicine for a decade for health reasons.

But the International Tennis Federation and Women's Tennis Association said Sharapova had been repeatedly notified last year that meldonium would be added to the list of banned substances on Jan. 1 2016.

Meldonium, which is manufactured in Latvia, is used in Russia and other former Soviet republics to treat a variety of conditions, including chest pain, heart troubles and diabetes. A normal course of treatment for the drug is four to six weeks, according to the drug manufacturer.

It has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, and it is not licensed to be sold in Britain.

Customers at the Duma pharmacy have usually requested the drug to treat heart and vascular issues, and to prevent strokes, the pharmacy employee was quoted by Interfax as saying.

“Meldonium was added [to the Prohibited List] because of evidence of its use by athletes with the intention of enhancing performance,” the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said in a statement on March 7.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more