Russia was cut off by Viagra's manufacturer, leaving the Kremlin scrambling to commission generic erection pills

Russia was cut off by Viagra's manufacturer, leaving the Kremlin scrambling to commission generic erection pills
Packs of Viagra tablets lie on a table.Christophe Gateau/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • Russia has been cut off by the pharmaceutical company that produces Viagra, according to the Washington Post.
  • The company announced that it would halt supplies on Wednesday after stopping clinical trials in 2022.

Russians will be forced to produce their own erection pills after the maker of Viagra announced Wednesday that it's stopping the distribution of the drug.

According to the Washington Post, Viatris, the manufacturer of Viagra, informed the Kremlin last year that it would stop sales of the erectile dysfunction medication in Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine. On Wednesday, Russia was officially cut off from new supplies and the Kremlin said that 36 local companies had the "technological possibility" to create a replacement erection pill.

Russia's Industry and Trade Ministry told state-owned press service TASS that the medication used for Viagra, sildenafil, is not currently produced in Russia but that alternatives are on the way, with dozens of new companies already registered.

Viatris initially stopped clinical trials in Russia after the Kremlin launched an invasion into Ukraine in February 2022, the Post reported. Though the decision did not halt the company's distribution to Russia. Throughout the year, Viatris suffered financial losses in Russia due to supply chain issues but continued to supply pills to pre-existing patients.

Ukraine and Russia made up less than 1% of the company's revenue in early 2022, the company said in a May 2022 quarterly report.


But Wednesday's decision now leaves domestic Russian companies scrambling to produce national alternatives, a trend that has reverberated with other medications that are no longer available in Russia.

Although pharmaceutical companies were not directly targeted in sanctions packages, their businesses and supplies have been hit by the war, and many have suffered supply chain issues.

According to the Post, Ukraine adopted a law in May 2022 which banned the sale and distribution of medication from companies that maintained ties with Russia.