Russia's health care still resembles its Soviet predecessor: it is bureaucratic and inefficient. In theory all Russians are supposed to receive free medical care, but in reality the system is plagued by corruption and mismanagement, with patients often forced to pay 'under the table' in order to receive timely medical care. Shortages of drugs and other medical consumables are common at public facilities.
The Russian pharmaceutical market is largely supplied by imports, although the government is taking steps to grow the domestic industry. The country also has a serious problem with counterfeit medicines, mainly antibiotics.
Russia has maintained its high level of tariffs on drugs, in contrast a general trend which has seen these levies decrease over the last five years.