Nowadays the problem of treating influenza and other viral diseases is extremely urgent, because they make up an impressive share of all infectious diseases. Every year in the winter months, influenza spreads over several continents. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 5–10% of adults and 20–30% of children suffer from influenza every year, while terminal episodes amount to around 250–500 thousand people. Fortunately, the human body is equipped with the immune system, a means of protection against foreign microorganisms. The difficulty lies in the fact that it takes the system several days to develop "weapons", interferons and antibodies, in quantities sufficient to struggle with the disease.
The pharmaceutical industry is attempting to help the immune system accelerate recovery, reduce the effects of infection, and prevent morbidity. The Soviet Union began the development of a broad-spectrum antiviral drug capable of suppressing influenza and other acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI) in the middle of the last century. In 1974 scientists of the All-Union Scientific Research Chemical-Pharmaceutical Institute, Institute of Medical Radiology of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences and the Leningrad Bacteriological and Diagnostic Institute developed an antiviral drug ARBIDOL®.