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Not much was known about this seemingly miraculous medicine before January of 2016, when it was banned by WADA (World anti-doping agency). Now the word Meldonium is quite familiar around the globe but few know about its origin, actual uses and availability
It was studied and developed in Latvia which at the time was occupied by Soviet Russia and was called Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic. This is why there is a quite wide spread presumption that it is made in Russia. Although Meldonium technically was developed in USSR , it was developed in territory of Latvia and by Latvian , and is manufactured almost exclusively in Latvia. Thus it is more appropriate to consider the drug Latvian origin. The substance was discovered by Latvian in 1970 his name is Ivars Kalvins and researched in Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis.
When talking about the this drug, one thing should be clear from the start- Meldonium is the active ingredient and the medicine is made by several companies from which best known is Grindeks or sometimes called Grindex with brand name “Mildronate” . Grindeks is located in capital of Latvia, Riga. Mildronate is distributed and can be bought In Baltic States , Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. But there is hope for the rest of the world to get Meldonium in forcible future as well, because Grindeks is officially researching Turkish and China markets. It should be noted that Meldonium is no longer patented, therefore there is few other Meldonium manufacturers from which biggest is “ Olainfarm” which is also located in Latvia .There is also few small Meldonium manufacturers in Russia and Belarus but their impact on the market is negligible. One should consider that it would be wiser to use medicine which is made in EU than in Russia.
The main use of Meldonium is for treatment of diseases of heart and blood vessels. The underlying scientific principles are quite difficult to comprehend and explained in mortal human language. Thus I will not use smart long chemical formulas and principles here. Almost always it enough to know that Meldonium is doing its magic by influencing metabolism in positive way and doing it with help of improving oxygen consumption in cells.
Since improving running is all about improving ones oxygen intake and consumption, thus the possible doping effects of Meldonium in sports becomes clear. There also is evidence in scientific community of usefulness of Meldonium in conditions beside heart diseases as treating Alzheimer, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes. Also there are reports of increased sexual activity in certain animals which were used for scientific study.
It is quite common for people who live in regions where Meldonium is sold over the counter, to use it to tackle long term stress and increasing overall energy levels. The usual usage cycle is about month or two and then it is recommended to stop.
After the ban of Maria Sharapova from sports community at the start of year 2016, there was a explosion of demand for Meldonium which was noticed by venturesome people in Russia and Baltic states , especially home country of our star drug — Latvia. The selling was easy because the 250mg Meldonium version is over the counter medicine in all the countries where it is sold. From early year 2016 to late summer, Meldonium could be easily bought in Ebay, after that listings were starting to disappear. Right now the listings are becoming almost non existing.
For the inside information of selling Meldonium , I had the chance to interview one of the owners of one of the few legitimate web-stores of Meldonium out there. The person wanted to stay anonymous. He told me that he started to sell Meldonium in Ebay when the listings were booming and in the best of times Meldonium could be sold for 80$ per pack of Mildronate 500mg.
He replied that it is semi legal because the 250mg is over the counter medicine but 500mg are prescribed. And any sane person would think that If you can buy half the dose of prescription drug without prescription its safe for using. Also there are very few side effects to this medicine.
The reply was that his business in Ebay had a painful stop, at the time he did not knew that it could end in PayPal limiting his account without any warning and freezing his money for long time. His exact words
Yes, I understand that it could be interpreted as drugs selling online but it is Meldonium, this wonderful medicine which can help so many elderly people to which people except few countries in Northern EU has no access. This was my drive to open my own store to give a chance to buy this medicine freely. As I found out this was not so easy as well. The first struggle is to get people to trust us, about 50% of customers make an order but does not come around to paying. We are resolving this by offering small orders by 10 capsules so the customer can start to trust us, it is effective. The second and biggest struggle is the payment system, at first we had freely available electronic card payment system. Little we knew that VISA and MasterCard allegedly are making control payments for these kinds of businesses. Later it turned out that behind these control payments are big pharma giants which does not want cheap but quality all the same analogue medicine flooding the USA market. That’s why no online pharmacies offer automated electronic card payments.
To conclude, some countries has hope to have this medicine in their pharmacies soon but others like USA and Canada will have to relay on vendors like meldonium-store.com to supply them with this wonderful substance for foreseeable future.In year 2019 Meldonium still remains sold officially only in Baltic states and few other countries as Russia and Ukraine. It seems that getting medicine in new markets is very time consuming and hard because we haven’t seen any real progress in this field regarding Meldonium and new markets.