Andrey Rylkov Foundation
for Health and Social Justice
Русский

The Lancet: Russia’s drug policy fuels infectious disease epidemics

The Lancet, Vol 12, April 2012

“On Feb 3, 2012, the Russian Government blocked the website of the Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice. The reason, according to the Federal Drugs Control Service, was the website’s “placement of materials that propagandize (advertise) the use of drugs, information about distribution, purchasing of drugs and inciting the use of drugs”. The drug in question was methadone, which is banned in Russia despite being on the WHO list of essential medicines.

The Andrey Rylkov Foundation aims to “promote and develop humane drug policy”. Its website — an English version of which remains available — likely off ended the authorities with articles about opioid substitution therapy, which commonly uses methadone.

“We had articles on substitution therapy, its relation with HIV, and the reasons why it was needed in Russia”, explains the Foundation’s Ivan Varentsov. “The government concluded we were advertising drugs and shut us down.” He added that drug users and other  interested parties in Russia would also be deprived of the health information and advocacy materials that the website provided…”

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