Dec 29, 2020
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Homeopathic medicine is among the winners of the Russian Pharma Awards

We have already written about the Russian Pharma Awards once. Then in it, in the strangely titled nomination “Immunomodulator of choice in the acute period of respiratory infection in frequently ill children”, the drug with unproven effectiveness “Polyoxidonium” won. It’s funny that after the release of our note, apparently paid commentators came in the comments under it, unanimously claiming that “Polyoxidonium” is effective and they like it. Now there is one more reason to mention the Russian Pharma Awards in a negative way – first, a list of nominee drugs appeared on the award website, and in the nomination “Antiviral drug No. 1 in Russia for influenza and ARVI for adults and children from 3 years old” there was list: kagocel , anaferon and anaferon for children , arbidol , oscillococcinum . And soon a list of winners appeared. They were chosen by voting by doctors who are members of the Doctor at Work platform. And they chose this way: 1st place – kagocel , 2nd – arbidol , 3rd – anaferon . You can probably blame the voters, but in the nomination itself everything was, as they say, so tasty that no matter how you vote, you will still get something dubious, which does not have a proven therapeutic effect, or even theoretically is not capable of providing it.

Anaferon and Oscillococcinum are homeopathic remedies, i.e. products that do not contain any active substance and, in principle, are not capable of providing any therapeutic effect on the body.

Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic dilution of musky duck liver and heart extract in concentration 200 C (12 – 417 ). That is, even if this extract had some kind of antiviral effect (and it is not), it is still not in the oscillococcinum. You can easily google details about homeopathic dilutions or, for example, watch this lecture – https: // 30 – on our website, but in short, such a dilution means that there is not a single particle in the final solution, nor one molecule of the original extract. Oscillococcinum is just sugar. And for six small sugar granules, which contain nothing but sugar, you will pay at the pharmacy, approximately 450 rubles. Good business. Instead of three packs of Oscillococcinum, you can buy a whole carcass of a farm indowka and a kilogram of sugar in addition. It probably won’t help against the flu either, but it’s at least food.

Anaferon, if you don’t go into details, – same. That is, instead of the duck liver, antibodies to interferon gamma are declared in it, but this is also a homeopathic dilution, that is, in fact, there are no antibodies there. Here is a quote from the ninth issue of the bulletin “In Defense of Science” issued by the Commission for Combating Pseudoscience under the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences:

… the active substance of Anaferon is antibodies to human gamma-interferon obtained in a rabbit, in dilutions C 12, FROM53 and C 200. Science does not know how antibodies to interferon can help in the prevention or treatment of influenza and acute respiratory viral infections, but a simple calculation shows that one molecule of this active substance is contained in one hundred million tablets.

Why such drugs at all get into the nominees for the pharmaceutical award – it is not clear. Rather, of course, it is understandable – for example, the award offers partnerships to pharmaceutical companies with the right to include a nomination in the voting list; but it is also clear that this should not be so: homeopathic (or “release-active”, which is the same) drugs should not generally fall into such nominations either with a carcass, or a stuffed animal, or through partnership, as they should not get into them conspiracies, witchcraft and sacrifices.

It is more difficult with Kagocel and Arbidol. At the very least, this is not homeopathy, but they are not very good with the evidence base either. In particular, for Kagocel there is a publication about a study in which it allegedly showed less efficiency than ergoferon. Despite the fact that ergoferon is homeopathic, that is, it does not contain an active substance, the drug and it cannot show any effectiveness other than placebo.

There seems to be some research on arbidol (umifenovir), it seems that not only Russian and Chinese, but also international ones, and it seems that the antiviral effect has even been explained. Even the WHO, in the guidelines on the use of pharmaceuticals against epidemic influenza, mentions studies according to which arbidol accelerates recovery by about two days, but notes that there is little information about the design of these studies, so they should be interpreted with caution. At the same time, there is, for example, the resolution of the Meeting of the Presidium of the Formulary Committee of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences from 53. 10. 2020 of the year in which, among others, it is proposed:

“Immediately remove from the list of medicines for which medicines are provided in the DLO program , obsolete drugs with unproven efficacy – cerebrolysin, trimetazidine, chondroetin sulfate, vinpocetine, piracetam, phenotropil, arbidol, rimantadine, validol, inosine, valocardin, etc., including those sold without a prescription. ”

In general, the reputation of Kagocel and Arbidol is so-so.

However, even if you do not try to understand the research of these two drugs, do not delve into their design and generally assume that specialists, in the end , you know, correct there and research or not, and even the WHO experts said in two about arbidol – all the same we are dealing with a nomination in which two out of four drugs are homeopathic . With three prizes. Voters can cast their votes as they please – in any case, at least one of the prizes in this situation is frankly a charlatan pill. And its manufacturers and sellers will be able to use this fact in advertising their funds, write that their sugar tablets have taken, they say, a prize in the competition. The fact that the homeopathic pill took the third, and not the first or second, place out of the three possible prize money, testifies to the doctors who voted not in the worst way. But this is still a prize. And such things work, convince the buyer.


Dear readers, never and under any circumstances, when choosing a treatment, do not take into account the results of the Russian Pharma Awards. First, the effectiveness of drugs is determined by clinical trials, not by votes . Secondly, you cannot take seriously the results of the award, in which the lists of nominees are such that, no matter how it turns out, at least one prize place will be prohibitively expensive sugar.

Sad statistics from the award site. Have important doctors, don’t be like that!

It is also regrettable that the founder of the platform organizing the award, after being informed on social media about the abnormality of the situation, persists in ignorance and even calls the concept “pseudoscience” – all of a sudden – “a category of Stalinism.”

Беседа Ильи Ясного иСтанислава Сажина

Conversation of the founder of the communication platform Doctor at Work, which organizes the Russian Pharma Awards, Stanislav Sazhin , who, judging by his Facebook profile, studied international relations and art history, and a candidate of chemical sciences, the head of scientific expertise of a venture capital investing in biotech Inbio Ventures 8596817740973142997 of our regular author Ilya Yasny . (Source).

See also the discussion of the topic in the FB group of the Commission against Pseudoscience: https: // www / groups / klnran / permalink /3407824969328683/

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