Today the representatives of patient and anti-corruption organizations made an announcement about the complete failure of drug procurement transfer to international organizations. They called on the Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to take personal control of this process.
The activists emphasized that six weeks from the date of the approval (March 19th 2015) of the draft laws on the transfer of drug procurement to international organizations by the Ukrainian Parliament have already passed, but the Ministry of Health has not done anything. Instead, the statement that the transfer of drugs procurement to international organizations won’t succeed this year is heard more frequently.
«The Minister personally made public statements that not later than in 1.5 months after the adoption of the laws by the Verkhovna Rada the drug procurement function will be transferred to international organizations, – says Dmytro Sherembey, the Chairman of the CF «Patients of Ukraine». However, not a single step in this direction has been made. Until now the Ministry has not developed and not submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine any by-law that would regulate the procurement transfer. In fact, this process is now sabotaged», – he added.
According to the draft laws №2150 and №2151, adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the drug procurement function had to be transferred from the Ministry of Health to international organizations this year and at least for 4 next years. The following international organizations have been mentioned in the draft laws: United Nations organizations such as WHO, UNICEF, UNDP and large non-profit organizations that procure medicines for many countries: Crown Agents (United Kingdom), IDA Foundation (Netherlands), Partnership for supply chain management (PFSCM) (USA), Global Drug Facility (GDF) (Switzerland).
“There are two explanations for the situation with the process of procurement transfer to the international organizations – incompetent officials of the Ministry of Health and the desire to preserve the corrupt schemes, – says Vitaliy Shabunin, the Chairman of the «Anticorruption Action Center». – If the cause is incompetence than we want to see dismissals of the responsible persons. Otherwise this will be a clear indication that the Ministry of Health intends to leave the drug procurement within itself and thus keep the corruption schemes. According to the Security Service of Ukraine every year the Ministry of Health has been overpaying for the drug procurement by 40%. The money went to the pockets of the officials, that’s the reason why they do anything to keep the procurement within the Ministry”, – Vitaliy adds.
It should be noted that in case of medicines procurement through international organizations the drugs could cost 40% less, which would make possible to procure more medicines than in case of procurement through the Ministry of Health.
Lawyers who developed the draft laws on medicines procurement transfer to international organizations claim that they don’t see any legal obstacles for the beginning of drugs procurement through international organizations.
“Verkhovna Rada has taken into account the maximum number of possible risks in terms of all areas of law: on public procurement, on medicines, budgetary and financial procedures, currency regulation and so on. The law not only introduces the general rules of public procurement of medicines through international organizations, but also establishes a list and contents of regulations necessary for its implementation. In our opinion, if the Ministry of Health was interested in implementing procurement through international organizations, there would have been published at least the draft of the necessary legal acts as of today”, – says Lina Sinichkina, Partner at Arzinger Law Office.
We would like to remind that this year it was suggested to transfer to international organizations the procurement of medicines for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis patients as well as vaccines.