Fact Check: The Guardian Did NOT Report That Shortage Of Scabies Cream In UK Due To Lack Of Components From Russia


  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: The Guardian Did NOT Report That Shortage Of Scabies Cream In UK Due To Lack Of Components From Russia Misquoted

Did The Guardian report that at the start of 2023, there was a scabies medication in the U.K. containing components produced in Russia, and due to sanctions, these ingredients couldn't reach British pharmaceutical manufacturers, resulting in a scarcity of scabies cream? No, that's not true: The British publication highlighted the increasing prevalence of scabies in the absence of adequate treatment, posing a significant threat to public health. However, the referenced article does not specify that the components are manufactured in Russia, or that sanctions are leading to supply challenges.

The claim originated from the official political YouTube channel of the Belarusian news agency minsknews.by (archived here) and appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok by its account @political.channel.live on January 3, 2023. The host in the video (translated from Russian to English by Lead Stories staff) said:

I read a translation of the Guardian. It said that until a year ago there was a scabies remedy available in the UK that had ingredients made in Russia, but because Putin has imposed sanctions on himself, those ingredients can't get to British pharmaceutical manufacturers, so they just ran out of scabies cream.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Guardian Minsk.jpg

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Fri Jan 5 12:13:31 2024 UTC)

A Google search using the keywords (in Russian) "scabies cream" and "Guardian" (archived here) revealed numerous links from Russian-speaking media outlets quoting the Guardian article (archived here), published January 1, 2023. The article does not reference sanctions or indicate that the medication contains components produced in Russia. Only:

A combination of supply chain problems, the war in Ukraine and a rise in the cost of raw materials has resulted in months-long shortages of both.

The British Association of Dermatologists reported shortages (archived here) dating back to May 2023, stating that a surge in demand for scabies treatments across Europe, supply chain issues and increases in the cost of raw materials have all contributed to the shortage. They did not mention Russian sanctions as a contributing factor.

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