Fake medicine, real problem

A video of two Italians buying the allegedly efficient medicine to treat coronavirus on the Moscow airport has been circulating on social media. Two men entered a pharmacy and bought „Arbidol“, allegedly efficient medicine to treat coronavirus. Moreover, coronavirus is drawn on the packing of the medicine. One of the actors of the video is saying that „there has been so many deaths in Italy since this medicine is not available, while Russians can protect themselves thanks to it.

„Arbidol“ (falsely called Abidol) was developed by a Russian pharmaceutical company „JSC Pharmstandard“ and is not available in Europe and the USA due to the fact that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not include it into their approved flu medicaments. That is the reason why this medicine can be bought in Moscow but not in Europe and the USA.

„Arbidol“ is actually a name for the medicine whose generic term is „umifenovir“ and it was not created in 2019 as it was stated but during the 1970s in the Soviet Union. Patent right expired in 2007 and since then, „Arbidol“ is produced in numerous companies in Russia, Belarus, and China.

A graphic view of tweets on “Abidol” or “Arbidol” on Twitter.

Besides this one, there is another video with the same claims. Unnamed person from our language region claims that it is a sort of anti-virus substance, to fight the epidemic.

He added that a pharmacist ensured him that the virus is nothing new and that it has existed since forever.

„Don’t panic, goodbye friends and all the best from Russia“, he concluded at the end of the video.

WHO’s website dedicated to current pandemic states that to date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus.

Many times have we emphasized that the individuals’ posts on social media are not a credible source of information on coronavirus. When there is the cure, relevant institutions will inform us, but not Facebook or other social media. It is necessary to follow information and posts coming from credible and official addresses, such as the World Health Organization, the Institute for Public Health and the Ministry of Health.

While the world is fighting the coronavirus, there is some encouraging news. A patient from Genoa (79) was cured from coronavirus with the experimental medicine named „Remdesivir“. On the other hand, in China, more precisely in Wuhan, there was not a single case of coronavirus yesterday.