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Antidepressant Sales in Russia Hit 5-Year High – Vedomosti

Arthur Novosiltsev / Moskva News Agency

Antidepressant sales in Russian pharmacies have hit a five-year high in the first months of 2024, the Vedomosti business daily reported Wednesday, citing the pharmaceutical market research company DSM Group.

Experts linked the rise to doctors increasingly prescribing antidepressants instead of Soviet-era sedatives and tranquilizers whose effects have not been scientifically proven.

According to the DSM Group data, Russian pharmacies sold 3.6 million packs of antidepressants worth 2.9 billion rubles ($31.3 million) in the first 11 weeks of 2024.

That’s up from 2.7 million packs sold over the same period in 2023, 3.3 million packs in 2022 and 1.8 million packs in 2021 and 2020 each.

Major pharmacy chains surveyed by Vedomosti confirmed that antidepressant sales are on the rise in both nominal and percentage terms.

Antidepressants are gradually supplanting herbal and sedative drugs including Corvalol and Phenibut, whose demand has slightly declined since 2019, according to Vedomosti.

Antidepressants will continue to gain popularity in Russia as the public's anxiety remains high, DSM Group general director Sergei Shulyak told Vedomosti.

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