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24/12/2014

Health Care Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine recommended increasing the amount of expenditures for the drugs procurement from 3.2 to 6.8 billion. UAH

Today during the meeting of the Health Care Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine it was decided to recommend increasing the amount of expenditures for the drugs procurement to 6.8 billion UAH. This is was an officially declared financial need of the Health Ministry of Ukraine for drugs procurement in 2014 for critically ill patients who are part of 18 state programs. “Health and wellbeing of our citizens is the highest value hence we cannot let it be put at risk, – says Olga Bohomolets, Chairman of the Health Care Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. – That is why we have recommended Verkhovna Rada to increase funding for life-saving drugs by reducing other budget items.” Yesterday there was a massive patients’ protest against Budget 2015 was held under the building of Cabinet of Ministers. They stressed the inadmissibility of budget savings through the life and health of patients. “We must fulfill the paragraph of the Coalition agreement on public procurement of medicines in all programs, – states Iryna Sysoyenko,MP, member of Health Care Committee of the Verkhovna Rada. – We cannot leave people without treatment for the next year due to the fact that the Government has put meager funds for state programs financing. 6.8 billion UAH is the bare minimum which was estimated by the Ministry of Health and NGOs as a need for treatment for patients that are now part of the government programs. The government has no right to leave them without treatment.” “We hope that Parliament will support supports the proposals of the Committee and will vote for the changes to the Budget 2015, – says Dmytro Sherembey, Chairman of CF “Patients of Ukraine”. – The lives of hundreds of thousands of patients depend on this vote. Otherwise, if the number of drugs will be stripped down, it will be a personal responsibility of a MP to their voters for deaths and mutilated lives.” Currently only 3.2 billion UAH for drugs procurement is put in the draft Budget of Ukraine.    
23/12/2014

Budget 2015 may kill Ukrainian patients

More than half of patients with HIV/AIDS, cancer, hemophilia, tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis, diabetes and other diseases that receive treatment from the State will be left without treatment in 2015.  The activists have come to such conclusion after they analyzed Ukrainian 2015 draft Budget. They found that there are last year’s figures for the life-saving treatment namely 2,5 billion UAH. In such situation it seems that it is easier to kill rather than to treat. The activists demand the review of the budget and 6.8 billion UAH for the treatment of patients with terminal illnesses whose lives depend on state drugs procurement. Such need was officially declared by the Ministry of Health in 2014. “If the government does not allocate additional funds to finance the drugs procurement in 2015 this budget will become a verdict for hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians including children, – states Dmytro Sherembey, Chairman of CF “Patient of Ukraine”. – Most of these drugs cannot be found in the pharmacies and are procured only for the state programs. Hence if the government does not take into account the need for drugs that has been declared by Ministry of Health in 2014 than most people who are part of the the state programs will either die or become disabled”. The patients brought to the building of the Cabinet of Ministers a box with bottles with “poison” as a symbol of the fact it is easier to kill rather than to treat with such budget! The bottles with “poison” along with the letter were handed to the Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk. “Without the regular procedures for cleaning up blood, i.e. hemodialysis, patients who suffer from kidney failure can live no more than 7 days, – states Volodymyr Honcharuk, patients with kidney failure. – We will “lay dead” in front of the Cabinet of Ministers to prevent such financing plan for drugs. For people like me it means death”. It should be noted that despite the significant spending cuts in Budget 2015 the Government put 437 million UAH, i.e. 20% of the total budget for drugs procurement for all the Ukrainians, separately for the workers of Ministry of Internal Affairs.  “Today in Ukraine there are 60,000 HIV-positive adults and children receive treatment from the state budget, – says Vitaliy Tkachuk, member of the Coordination Council of All-Ukrainian Network of PLHIV”, – In such situation of funding reduction proposed by the Government, 40,000 patients with HIV will be left without medicines which will lead to the new outbreak and tens of thousands of deaths. Everything that has been done during the last 10 years to combat HIV/AIDS in Ukraine will go in vain”. In Ukraine 1607 people die from severe diseases daily (information as of March 2014). Every year due to these deadly diseases the country loses around 600 000 of its citizens.   Contacts: Lesya Shutko 067 245 38 75 Natalya Krasnenkova 067 465 54 26   DSC_0553????????????????????????????????????DSC_0544????????????????????????????????????DSC_0543????????????????????????????????????DSC_0535????????????????????????????????????DSC_0529????????????????????????????????????DSC_0523????????????????????????????????????DSC_0520????????????????????????????????????DSC_0519????????????????????????????????????DSC_0516????????????????????????????????????DSC_0514????????????????????????????????????DSC_0511????????????????????????????????????DSC_0508????????????????????????????????????DSC_0506????????????????????????????????????DSC_0501????????????????????????????????????DSC_0499????????????????????????????????????бюджет_отрутаDSC_0494????????????????????????????????????DSC_0491????????????????????????????????????DSC_0490????????????????????????????????????DSC_0489????????????????????????????????????бюджет_отрутаDownload a[rel~="mtli_filesize21171kB"]:after {content:" (211.71 kB)"}
15/12/2014

12 new members representing severe diseases have been admitted to the CF “Patients of Ukraine”

On December 11, during the Annual General Meeting of the Charitable Foundation “Patients of Ukraine”, 12 new members representing a variety of serious diseases, including hemophilia, phenylketonuria, cystic fibrosis, children’s and adult oncology, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and other, became members of the Foundation. “This year we fought together for the treatment of my daughter and hundreds of other children with hemophilia who were left untreated due to disrupted tender procedures –says Nina Astaforova-Yatsenko, mother of a 6-year-old Nona, hemophiliac. –It was a revelation for me to realize that people, who are not related to hemophilia, were willing to help us in our fight. Such an association of patients, who help each other, is unique to Ukraine. That’s why I am happy to join the Foundation as a representative of parents of children with hemophilia”. After a significant expansion of membership of the organization and entry of people representing new diseases to it, the Board of the CF “Patients of Ukraine” consists of 31 members each representing the interests of patients with a particular disease.  “We together with parents have been fighting for 10 years to ensure that our children receive quality treatment from the state and do not become disabled, – says Natalia Tymoschuk, the Head of the “Association of parents of children with phenylketonuria “Generation”, who also became a member of the CF “Patients of Ukraine”. – And with joint efforts of not only our organization, but also of all patients who have helped us this year, for the first time in Ukraine, despite a strong lobby in the ministry, quality medicines for children suffering from phenylketonuria have been procured”. Also the organization’s objectives for 2015 were defined at the meeting. In addition to provision of access to life-saving treatment, transfer of drugs procurement from the Ministry of Health to international organizations and the pharmaceutical reform were defined as main objectives. With these top-priority steps it will become possible to overcome corruption in the Ministry of Health during the procurement of drugs and significantly reduce prices for medicines in Ukraine. The pharmaceutical reform is primarily intended to reduce the number of necessary permits and licenses to manufacturers and to implement other deregulations. “We have gone through a long way of cooperation with every organization, whose representatives have joined the CF “Patients of Ukraine” today, – says Dmytro Sherembey, the Chairman of the CF “Patients of Ukraine”. – We all have a common goal – access to treatment without which we and our children will die. And it is joining of our efforts that enables us to deliver success for what we do”. Currently the CF “Patients of Ukraine” is the largest organization uniting patients with various diseases from all regions of Ukraine, with the first and foremost goal to fight for access to life-saving treatment and patients’ rights in Ukraine.  
12/12/2014

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the proposals of the Ukrainian Healthcare Reform Strategy

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Action Program of the Cabinet of Ministers. The adopted Action Program includes the proposals of the Ukrainian Healthcare Reform Strategy, which have been developed by the Strategic Advisory Group during the last five months. Simultaneously public discussions of the Ukrainian Healthcare Reform Strategy are being held in the circle of experts and the public sector, particularly among patients’ organizations. The Draft Reform has been developed by the Strategic Advisory Group on Healthcare Reform under the Ministry of Health with the support of the International Fund “Renaissance”. The current Health Minister Alexander Kvitashvili is a member of the working group. “In Ukraine people demand changes and already in 2015 decisive steps should be taken to start them. This approach has proved to be successful in Georgia, – said Alexander Kvitashvili, the Minister of Health of Ukraine, – we will immediately start the reform of the healthcare sector management once the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine endorse the Government’s Action Program”. “This is the first precedent when influential experts, doctors and patients, in partnership with the major international organizations have developed the Strategy of reforming the healthcare system, which will be implemented in the state — says Olga Stefanyshyna, the Executive Director of the CF “Patients of Ukraine”, the Head of the Secretariat of the Strategic Advisory Group, — it is extremely important to make this process public and open. It is the patient who will feel changes in the system. That is the reason we have arranged a public discussion with patients today, where everyone can express their views and give recommendations”. According to the authors of the draft the cornerstones of the reform are: liberalization of medical services market, reduction of overregulation of the health care sector, establishing the efficient mechanism of state funds reallocation aimed to pay for the services provided to a patient, and not for the maintenance of medical buildings (currently 75% of state funds are spent on keeping the medical buildings and hospital beds). After the sector is reformed this money will be spent for the doctors’ services meaning the implementation of the principle “money follows the patient”. One of the main tasks in the draft Strategy for health care reform is transformation of the network of medical facilities which are located unevenly in Ukraine. Our country is a leader of the rating by the number of beds per capita: in Europe there are on average 500 beds per 100 000 people, while in Ukraine – 950. Experts suggest introducing the autonomy of medical institutions, which will allow removing the burden of paying for utilities from the state and help attracting investments into this sector. In addition, it will allow bringing the number of hospitals into line with the real needs of people in a natural way. Released budget funds are suggested to be used for enlarging access of rural population to the modern district hospitals, particularly by building roads and transport. In rural areas, where currently 30% of the population of Ukraine lives, family physicians will work as private entrepreneurs. Payment for their work will be handled using a mixed system. The community will be able to control the quality of the work and payment for the doctor’s services, and will have the right to terminate the agreement with him if necessary. Currently the draft reform is at the stage of public discussion, and not only sector experts and doctors can join it, but anybody who wants to. Discussions will continue until the end of January 2015 and will be held both in Kiev and in the regions. The Expert Group on health care strategy development includes 12 national and international experts. Contact for media: Natalya Krasnenkova 067 465 54 26, krasnenkova@prhouse.com.uaDownload a[rel~="mtli_filesize11966kB"]:after {content:" (119.66 kB)"}
08/12/2014

The new Minister Alexander Kvitashvili started the discussion of the draft reform of the Ukrainian health care system

With the participation of the new Health Minister the discussion of the draft strategy of the Ukrainian healthcare system reform has started. According to the authors of the project the cornerstones of the reform are: liberalization of medical services market, reduction of overregulation of the health care sector, establishing the efficient mechanism of state funds reallocation aimed to pay for the services provided to a patient, and not for the maintenance of medical buildings (currently 75% of state funds are spent on keeping the medical buildings and hospital beds). After the sector is reformed this money will be spent for the doctors’ services meaning the implementation of the principle “money follows the patient”. “In Ukraine people demand changes and already in 2015 decisive steps should be taken to start them. This approach has proved to be successful in Georgia, – said Alexander Kvitashvili, the Minister of Health of Ukraine, – we will immediately start the reform of the health care sector management, examine the possibility of optimizing the hospital network, introduce important initiatives on procurement and access to medicines”. Studies show that every second Ukrainian refuses to visit a doctor because of the inability to pay for the treatment. “This is not normal when in the country with free healthcare, which is guaranteed by the Constitution, half of the population can not afford it, – states Volodymyr Kurpita, the Head of the Expert Council of the Strategic Advisory Group on the reform of the health care system. – And this is because our government ineffectively spends money on medical system created in Soviet times. In fact, the lion’s share of money is spent on maintenance of sometimes even empty premises and beds, and meager staff wages”. One of the important steps of the draft reform is to optimize the network of health care facilities which are distributed unevenly in Ukraine. Our country is leader in the ratings by the number of beds per capita: in Europe there are on average 500 beds per 100 thousand population, in Ukraine – 950. Experts suggest to introduce the autonomy of medical institutions, which will remove the burden of paying for utilities from the state and help attracting investments into this sector. In addition, it will allow bringing the number of hospitals into line with the real needs of people in a natural way. Released budget funds are suggested to be used for enlarging access of rural population to the modern district hospitals, in particular by building roads and transport. In rural areas, where currently 30% of the population of Ukraine lives, family physicians will work as private entrepreneurs. Payment for their work will be handled using a mixed system. The community will be able to control the quality of the work and payment for the doctor’s services, and will have the right to terminate the agreement with him if necessary. “In Ukraine we have the Soviet system based on excessive government regulation of everything – starting from premises to staff, – says Oleg Petrenko, the expert of the Strategic Advisory Group. It has to be broken fundamentally. Today the village doctor must work in a medical station, a doctor must have a nurse to assist, even if he sees only 1 patient per week. Each medical station must have a toilet, and where there is a toilet, there must be a cleaner. As staff of the medical station already consists of more than 3 persons, there must be an accountant, and where there is an accountant there is a safe with money and therefore the security must be hired. In this way staff consisting of 1 doctor grows to 5 people”. Experts say that the optimization of hospitals should not be performed through administrative methods – it will be a logical consequence of the introduction of autonomous medical institutions and the transition to a system of payment for services. Currently no head doctor has a right to reallocate available hospital funds in the most efficient way. The money is spent not on the departments or areas that need them most, but according to the norms inherited from the Soviet era. For example, when a hospital is run out of money for gasoline for ambulance vehicles, the head doctor may not reallocate funds from another department, where there are vacant beds and there are no patients. After granting greater autonomy to hospitals they will be able to decide which departments are fully occupied and need additional funding, and which can be closed. The same applies to wages. More qualified doctors can get higher salary, while those who do not have patients standing in queue to get an appointment – no. Thus the structure of hospitals and doctors will be adjusted to the real needs of people. Currently the draft reform is at the stage of public discussion, and not only sector experts and doctors can join it, but anybody who wants to. Discussions will continue until the end of January 2015 and will be held both in Kiev and in the regions. The draft reform has been developed by the Strategic Advisory Group on the reform of the health care system in Ukraine under the Ministry of Health with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation. The group consists of 12 international and Ukrainian experts.  Download a[rel~="mtli_filesize5605kB"]:after {content:" (56.05 kB)"}
03/12/2014

Scandalous ALPHAPEG drug has been banned in Ukraine

Scandalous drug for pseudo-treatment of hepatitis — ALPHAPEG (peginterferon alfa-2b) manufactured by Valartin Pharma LLC has been banned in Ukraine. Public Enterprise “The State Expert Center” has ordered to deregister the drug and prohibit its use. The corresponding order has already been issued by the Ministry of Health, and signed as a “farewell” by the now former acting Health Minister V. Lazoryshynets. So this chapter in the battle of patients against unscrupulous pharmacists for decent treatment was eventually closed.  “Of course, the manufacturing company, which has been denied the license for this drug, will not distribute press releases on the matter. We will undertake this mission and bring the case to the end — inform the public about the ban. This is because we as patients have been demanding already for several months to remove the untested and therefore “deadly” drug Alphapeg from the market, especially from the state procurement”, — says the head of the CF “Patients of Ukraine” Dmytro Sherembey. Even international organizations have expressed concern about the situation. On Friday, November 28, the international organization Treatment Action Group (TAG) sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatseniuk expressing their deep concern about the situation with Valartin Pharma LLC drug ALPHAPEG. “Corrupt practices in medicines registration, which was also exercised in the ALPHAPEG case, was widely used under the previous government. We hope that with the new Health Minister the situation will change fundamentally, and “light fingered” pharmaceutical companies will cease to set up experiments on Ukrainian patients”, — stressed Olga Stefanyshyna, the executive director of the CF “Patients of Ukraine”. The readers are reminded that 4 months ago the activists started to sound the alarm regarding the absence of the appropriate expertise of the hepatitis drug. Therefore Valartin Pharma LLC has publicly accused Dmytro Sherembey and two journalists of disclosure of confidential business information about ALPHAPEG drug and filed several suits with the court. A week ago Darnytsia District Court in Kyiv dismissed the case against the activist of the CF “Patients of Ukraine” Dmytro Sherembey. The court found Dmytro not guilty of charges of the pharmaceutical company. The ban on ALPHAPEG is valid on the whole territory of Ukraine, all market players and medical institutions have been informed about this ban. From now on the drug is not allowed to participate in the state procurement procedures – thus, the goal of patients’ organizations is accomplished.   Additional information: Krasnenkova Natalia, 067465 54 26 Lesia Shutko, 067 245 38 75
02/12/2014

Activists demand not to allow a corruptionist to become the Minister of Health

Today, the activists of anticorruption and patients’ organizations picketed the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine with the only one demand – the Coalition deputies must not vote for the candidate Vasyl Lazoryshynets (the current acting Minister of Health). Again, this candidate for the post of the Health Minister was proposed by Arseniy Yatseniuk. Activists brought a pair of glasses to each faction that joined the Coalition, so that they could see the evident facts of Mr. Lazoryshynets being involved in corruption scandals. “The Minister, who openly lies to journalists on camera, cannot count on earning trust of not only politicians but even of a cleaning lady in the MoH, – says Vitalii Shabunin, the Chairman of the “Anticorruption Action Centre”, – Talk about the possible appointment of such Minister discredits all future decisions of the Cabinet of Ministers headed by Arseniy Yatseniuk”. Recently the mass media released information that Vasyl Lazoryshynets, the acting Minister of the MoH, conceals that his wife is a co-founder of the private “Clinic of new technologies”. This clinic is located on the third floor of the state establishment “National M.M. Amosov Institute of Cardiovascular Surgery of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine”. Besides, the current head of the Ministry of Health is connected with other clamorous scandals such as the purchase of “Tamiflu” at the time of swine flu at the price 4 times higher than the market price. Yesterday, on December 1, World AIDS Day, the public activists and patients released information that already this year the MoH has overpaid UAH 26 million on procurement of ARV-drugs for HIV-infected in 2014.  “Allowing such a person to occupy the ministerial chair – a spit in the face to everyone who stood on the Maidan, – says Dmytro Sherembey, the head of the CF “Patients of Ukraine”. – Such officials must be put behind bars and not in the ministerial chairs. Last year Bogatyriova stole UAH 15 million on ART procurement and a criminal case was opened against her, this year the sum increased to UAH 26 million. Let’s see if public prosecution takes an interest in this fact and whether the representatives of already new team are to be held liable for such “overpayments”, – adds Dmytro. The event was also attended by the representatives of the Public Council under the Ministry of Health, who has come out criticizing the current head of the Ministry of Health.   Contact person: Ustinova Oleksandra, oleksandra.u@patients.org.ua, 067 550 15 70   DSC_0250????????????????????????????????????DSC_0299????????????????????????????????????DSC_0296????????????????????????????????????DSC_0288????????????????????????????????????DSC_0283????????????????????????????????????DSC_0252????????????????????????????????????DSC_0230????????????????????????????????????DSC_0307????????????????????????????????????DSC_0312????????????????????????????????????Download a[rel~="mtli_filesize14320kB"]:after {content:" (143.20 kB)"}
01/12/2014

The Ministry of Health has “cashed in” UAH 26 mln on HIV-positive in 2014

On December 1, World AIDS Day, public activists released information that the state has overpaid UAH 26 million on procurement of drugs for HIV-infected in 2014, despite the act that the new team already works in the Ministry of Health. Activists have compared purchase prices of ACO “All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV” financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine for the same drugs in 2014. The Ministry of Health overpaid UAH 13 million on procurement of some drugs (e.g., Lamivudine/Zidovudine) in comparison to the NGO. “The problem is that the system in the Ministry of Health has not changed. The corruption schemes remained the same, – says Olga Stefanyshyna, the Executive Director of the CF “Patients of Ukraine”. – We had hoped that after the Maidan the new team that would show a new approach to fighting corruption in procurement would come to power, but a miracle didn’t happen: Ukrainians continue to pay their lives for this corruption. The only hope is for the new composition of the Government and the new leader of the Ministry of Health, who will take up the sector reform with procurements removed from the Ministry”. In addition to the fact that the Ministry has purchased drugs at exorbitant prices, it has reduced the number of purchased drugs, citing high prices due to the devaluation of the hryvnia. “This is the highest level of cynicism when the Ministry purchases wholesale quantities of medicines at higher prices than public organizations, and at the same time attributes the decrease in the number of people who will get treatment, to high prices, – says Dmytro Sherembey, The Head of the CF “Patients of Ukraine” – more than 6 000 people this year will be left without treatment that will give new impetus to the AIDS epidemic and thousands of deaths”. In accordance with the amendments to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine #298, which were introduced in October this year, the Ministry of Health is authorized to reduce the volume of purchases. And accordingly – the number of patients that will be treated. Procurement of ARVs has been reduced on average by 10%. Over 60 thousand HIV-infected Ukrainians receive government-funded treatment today. “More than 6 000 people can pay their lives for the corruption in the MoH, – says Volodymyr Zhovtyak, the Chairman of the Coordinating Council of the ACO “All-Ukrainian Network of PLW”. – They might be cured if the Ministry officials would consider care for patients and not their personal wealth as a priority. These people are doomed, because they can not buy drugs in Ukraine themselves – they are not sold in pharmacies. Over the last 10 years this is the first real threat of reducing the number of patients that receive treatment”. It should be noted that last year the MOH, during Raisa Bogatyriova’s ministry, cashed in approximately UAH 15 million on HIV-infected. Therefore the activists awarded the former Head of the MoH with “pozorniaka” and not with gratitude award. And this year, they decided to demonstrate to the acting Health Minister Vasyl Lazoryshynets the consequences of such ministry’s earnings – namely deaths. The same amount of money, as cashed in by ministry’s officials on patients, activists laid at the monument for people who died of AIDS – “Red Ribbon” in Kiev. Recently the mass media reported that old people and schemes are returning to the Ministry of Health. Previously these schemes made it possible to earn from “under-the-table payments” for state procurement of medicines. The total amount of the tender for the procurement of antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of HIV-infected people is approximately UAH 234 million. Contact person: Ustinova Oleksandra 067 550 15 70 Oleksandra.u@patients.org.ua DSC_0072????????????????????????????????????DSC_0115????????????????????????????????????DSC_0124????????????????????????????????????DSC_0139????????????????????????????????????DSC_0140????????????????????????????????????DSC_0142????????????????????????????????????DSC_0143????????????????????????????????????DSC_0164????????????????????????????????????DSC_0169????????????????????????????????????DSC_0178????????????????????????????????????DSC_0210????????????????????????????????????DSC_0069????????????????????????????????????DownloadDownload a[rel~="mtli_filesize20196kB"]:after {content:" (201.96 kB)"}a[rel~="mtli_filesize8157kB"]:after {content:" (81.57 kB)"}