Funny and Stupid Ideas: Russian scientists who invented hangover cure make pill that keeps you drunk
The makers of RU-21, the "miracle" hangover cure reputedly developed for Soviet spies, have developed a product to keep you drunk.
Spirit Sciences, which is based in California but has research facilities in Russia employing scientists who once worked on secret programmes for the Kremlin, have christened the new product RU-21 Red.
If you take a tablet you need less alcohol to stay drunk, they claim. Emil Chiabery, a co-founder of the company, told The Telegraph from his offices in Los Angeles: "I never drink and there's no personal story. But RU-21 Red prolongs drunkenness and enhances intoxication.''
RU-21, the company's original product, is sold as a natural dietary supplement in the US and Britain. It officially claims to help prevent long-term diseases associated with moderate alcohol intake.
But among its ingredients are acids that are natural anti-oxidants and reportedly rid the body of some of the harmful by-products of alcohol breakdown that lead to hangovers.
The new pill, which contains grapevine extracts intended to slow down the oxidation of alcohol and keep the user drunk, has been criticised. The weight of criticism means the company may now reconsider introducing it to the market.
Mr Chiabery, who was born in what was then the Soviet republic of Georgia, said: "I'm not sure I'm going to market it in the USA. I don't want it to become a party drug. We are for responsible drinking."
The company makes no secret of the fact that its hangover cure is aimed at party-goers anxious to avoid the debilitating morning-after effects of heavy drinking. The company sponsors concerts and pop groups.
The product, which is marketed with a video showing KGB types in the shadow of the Kremlin handing over a briefcase of money in exchange for the secret formula, earns hundreds of thousands of pounds a year in sales in the US.