Jun 30, 2020
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Arbidol producer urged the media to focus on the recommendations of the Ministry of Health

Recall that earlier the Ministry of Health included a drug with a dubious reputation in the list of recommended for the fight against coronavirus. Journalists were also asked to rely on “specialized publications” and the sources of the manufacturer themselves in their estimates of arbidol.

In a cover letter to the appeal of Otisifarm pharmaceutical company CEO Olga Mednikova, the journalists called on “to use reliable information published in specialized medical journals, clinical guidelines, and official information sources of Otisifarm JSC” when creating materials.

The authors of the letter noted that many media now publish articles on methods of treating a new disease and even do independent reviews on drugs used against the new virus. “It seems important to us, as a pharmaceutical company manufacturing the Arbidol preparation (INN: Umifenovir), to draw your attention to the need to carefully check the data you publish on the drug, asking you to exclude the possibility of incorrect reporting of the Arbidol drug,” the letter says .

It should be noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized the clinical trials of the drug arbidol, conducted from 1993 to 2004, insufficient quality to meet the requirements of evidence-based medicine. The drug is still not indicated in the WHO recommendations for the treatment of influenza.

In January, arbidol got on the news agenda due to aggressive marketing: on the radio and in VKontakte groups with a large audience it was said that arbidol can be cured of COVID-19. As evidence, it was mentioned that the instructions for use of the drug indicate that it is a medicine for coronavirus. The miraculous power of the drug was also claimed by actors and bloggers. Against this background, sales of arbidol in just three weeks increased by 18% compared to last year. As a result, the FAS suspected the manufacturer of unfair advertising and threatened with a lawsuit. However, news about the effectiveness of arbidol in the fight against coronavirus still appears on the network.

“There is currently no evidence that any of the drugs is effective against COVID-19. There are no specific treatments for this type of coronavirus. The treatment is based on the clinical picture, ”said Tarik Yazarevich, spokesman for the World Health Organization.

In early May, scientists from China published the results of a study of the effectiveness of arbidol, as well as the combination of lopinavir / ritonavir (LPV / r)

"We found that neither LPV / r nor Arbidol can improve the clinical picture in patients and that they can cause some side effects," the scientists said, noting that physicians should be more careful in using these drugs, and researchers should continue to search for a truly effective drug from coronavirus.

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