From November 17, 2021, the Ministry of Health extended the prices of the anticancer drug lomustine and the immunosuppressant azathioprine increased by the Government Decree № 1771 from 31.10.2020. This follows from the State Register of Drug Prices. The prices, which are 3.4 times higher than the regular VED cost for lomustine and 71% for azathioprine, will be in effect until November 17, 2022. Pharmvestnik journal told about it in detail

A few days before, the Ministry of Health issued its order to extend the prices, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) confirmed that the increased prices were lower than the cost of similar drugs in the reference countries.

In October 2020, the government issued a decree “On Approval of Specifics of State Regulation of Manufacturers’ Maximum Selling Prices for Drugs Included in the List of Vital and Essential Drugs, and Amendments to Certain Acts of the Government of the Russian Federation,” which allows the price of a drug to be increased if there is a risk of it leaving the market or becoming missing.

The cost of lomustine and azathioprine was raised on November 16, 2020. There are only two manufacturers of lomustine in the State Register (Medac GmbH and Nanolek). The price of the drug manufactured by “Nanolek” with the trade name “Lomustin”, capsules, 40 mg, 20 pcs, is 10 000 rubles. Previously it was 2,910.31 rubles. The price for Lomustin Medac (INN Lomustin), Capsules, 40 mg, 20 pcs. – cans (1) – cartons, – 37 172,64 RUB, but before the renewal of registration the price was 3829,98 RUB.

In addition to those listed in the State Register, the price of Nanolek’s Lomustin in the form of 40 mg capsules in 50 pills packs is also valid; it is registered according to the regular methodology; a pack costs 7,275.76 rubles. In terms of one tablet, the re-registered price is 3.4 times higher than the regular price.

Azathioprine is produced by the Moscow Chemical-Pharmaceutical Association named after N.A. Semashko (Moskhimfarmpreparaty). The company also has a second production site, Yuzhpharm LLC, in the Krasnodar Territory, Russia. The State Register lists two effective prices for the drug of the same dosage and packaging – 50 mg and 50 tablets. For production at Moskhimfarmpreparat facilities, the price was set according to the regular VED methodology – 187.17 rubles, for Yuzhpharm according to Decree № 1771 – 320 rubles, i.e. higher by 71%.

According to SPARK, Moskhimfarmpreparaty JSC was declared bankrupt and bankruptcy proceedings were initiated against it. According to Roszdravnadzor, the last time this manufacturer’s drugs were released in 2019, it was 13 series of Salbutamol-MCPP; azathioprine was last released in 2018 (39 series).

In 2020-2021, Decree No. 1771 raised the cost of various drug forms and dosages of 41 INNs, with a total of 214 price entries in the State Register as of November 20, 2021. The last decisions on price increases due to the threat of shortages were made on November 1, 2021, when the cost of several doses of the generic INNs Cyanocobalamin and Atropine manufactured by Dalkhimpharm increased.