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Ukrainians in 50 Cities Demand Health Care Reform

In 50 cities of Ukraine thousands of Ukrainians have taken to the streets for the action “Death Hour” in order to support the Health Care Reform. For seeking attention of the people’s deputies the representatives of the patients’ organizations and activists delineated with a chalk the persons on the ground covered with bed sheets. This is the way the participants of the All-Ukrainian action attract attention to the fact that every hour death claims 67 people ill with various diseases. The Health Care Reform may stop these deaths and save thousands of Ukrainians.

Old medical equipment and rusty hospital beds were exhibited in front of the Verkhovna Rada building

Today the Ministry of Health together with patient organizations, placed in front of the Verkhovna Rada building rusty hospital beds and old medical equipment that are still used in hospitals. Thus the Ministry of Health and activists demonstrated MPs true state of heath care in the country and urged them to put to the vote the package of bylaws on health care reform #6327, #6328, #6329, #6247.

The President Received Baby Shoes and the MPs – Defibrillators with Demand to Launch Health Reform

Today about one hundred patients have brought stretchers with 423 ‘life packages’ for the MPs. The activists packed there things that symbolize life for each patient – painkillers, vaccines, stethoscopes, defibrillators, drips and children’s clothes. In such a way the patients demanded from MPs to vote for the health reform legislative package.

CF “Patients of Ukraine” and Olga Stefanyshyna won a court case filed by Dmytro Pidturkin, the former advisor to Raisa Bogatyriova

Today the CF “Patients of Ukraine” and Olga Stefanyshyna won a court case filed by Dmytro Pidturkin, the former advisor to a former health minister of Ukraine Raisa Bogatyriova, and a member of at least 12 working groups and 21 nomenclature review committees at the MoH Ukraine in 2012. The Court of Appeal of the Kyiv City composed of judges Salikhov, V. V. Semeniuk T. A, and Prokopchuk N. O. passed a corresponding judgment.

Every Other Patient in Ukraine Refuses from Treatment because of High Prices for Medicines – Findings of the Research

Every other patient in Ukraine refuses from treatment or postpones it because of money shortages. High cost of medications is considered by 94% 0f patients involved in the focus-group discussions as the major problem.  In this case 48% of patients complain about adulterated and low-quality medicines. Almost 70% of the patients resort to self-treatment. These are the findings of the research conducted as part of the USAID-funded “Cost(less) Medicine” project implemented by the CF “Patients of Ukraine”. “Free health care in Ukraine is a myth. In fact, every patient pays twice – in the form of tax and at the doctors’ office. Health care should be free and accessible all at once. Meanwhile Ukrainians have to refuse from treatment or postpone it or use medicines they learn about from their friends or from the Internet. Often Ukrainian patients are unaware of the free public programs and about opportunities to get free medicines,” reported Olga Stefanyshyna, Executive Director of the CF “Patients of Ukraine”. The research findings show that over 56% of patients used only part of the prescribed medicines because of financial constrains. 43% of patients had to borrow money or to sell valuables and property for treatment. These data along with the conclusions and recommendations of the CF “Patients of Ukraine” were provided to the MoH Ukraine in order to improve implementation of the ongoing health reforms. “Health care services in Ukraine should be quality and accessible for every patient and we put every effort to get the health reform up and running this year. Hopefully, the Law “On State Financial Guarantees for Providing Health Care Services and Medicines” will be adopted by May this year. In addition, the Pharmaceutical Reimbursement Program is expected to start working in pharmacies since April 2017. The government will allocate UAH 500 million for its implementation. The Unified E–Database of Patients will have to work by the end of the year”, reported Uliana Suprun, acting Health Minister of Ukraine. The research also reports that almost 69% of patients treat themselves without consulting doctors. The reasons are high cost of medicines, lack of trust in doctors as well as poor treatment culture of Ukrainians. Fifty percent of all Ukrainians used medicines recommended by their friends and the Internet. “This research is designed not only to expose the problems of the Ukrainian patients but also to equip the Government of Ukraine with the data. Its findings are intended to inform, develop, and implement the health reforms targeted at solving the problems of individual patients and thus the nation as a whole. The health care reform is the priority for Ukraine”, reported Susan K. Fritz, the USAID Mission Director for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova.    Ukrainians do not trust in doctors. Almost 40% of focus group participants complained about non-professionalism of the medical staff. Generally it is about incompetence and indifference of the doctors, that they often do not ask a patient about his/her condition and provide no or very little information about their prescriptions. Doctors in roughly half the instances propose cheaper and more expensive medicines as an option. One third of the patients admit that doctors prescribe too many drug items. Corruption in health facilities is also viewed by the patients as the reason for mistrust. Analysis of the top-100 most salable medicines in the Ukrainian pharmacies showed that patients spend more than UAH 3 billion every year for the medicines they may well do without. Therefore, in order to start treatment the patients have to use various strategies – postpone treatment, pass incomplete treatment course, borrow money and sell property. This confirms inconsistency of the pharmaceutical policy in Ukraine: it is a patient who shares the bulk of the financial burden. The research was conducted in April – September 2016 by using the following methodologies: desk, qualitative (in-depth interviews with the patients and doctors, focus-groups) and quantitative (Omnibus) research. The Health School NAUKMA and Kiev International Institute of Sociology provided expert support of the research. DSC_0610DSC_0579DSC_0542DSC_0548DSC_0625DSC_0575DSC_0572DSC_0568DSC_0534DSC_0521 Research “Cost(less) Medicine” is available at the website of the CF “Patients of Ukraine” in pdf format. Contact persons: Natalia Krasnenkova: 067 465 54 26, Iryna Vasylenko: 050 133 21 34, a[rel~="mtli_filesize114MB"]:after {content:" (1.14 MB)"}

Anticorruption and patients organizations accused the Committee on Public Health in politicization of medicines procurement process

Public, anticorruption and patients organizations called Olga Bohomolets and members of Committee on Public Health not to discredit the successful reform in the healthcare sector – procurements of medicines and vaccines through international organizations, and not to politicize it. That noted in the open appeal of CF “Patients of Ukraine”, CO “All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH”, NGO “Anti-Corruption Action Centre”, NGO “Reanimation Package of Reforms” and Transparency International Ukraine. “Currently when procurement of medicines and vaccines through international organizations show its efficiency, we see manipulations, misrepresenting of facts and occasionally distorted truth by People’s Deputies of the relevant Committee. In any case the process of medicines procurement should not be politicized, because it affects Ukrainians’ lives,” said Alexandra Ustinova, a member of the “Anticorruption Action Centre”. For example, activists drew attention to a false information on the procurement price of Alvotinib (INN – Imatinib) published by the relevant Committee. The Committee shears information that the wholesale price of this drug (declared in Ukraine) is UAH 82.67. But this is not true. According to the register of wholesale prices, one pill of this drug costs 10 times more expensive – UAH 820.67. Incidentally, an international organization procured Imatinib 400 mg more than 20 times cheaper than the Ministry of Health in 2014 and 10 times cheaper than the declared price in Ukraine. Public representatives once again drew the attention of PDs to the economy in the amount of UAH 620 million, and to much lower prices got during medicines procurements (some medicines procured more than 20 times cheaper compared with the prices of the Ministry of Health 2014), destruction of corruption schemes during tenders and participation new players in tender process. It is also important to note that international organizations have procured over 67% of medicines directly from manufacturers. The detailed analysis of the procurement process through international organizations published in the report of the Anticorruption Action Centre. “It is not a time to sow discord and spread artificial betrayal around the reforms carried by the Ministry of Health. We need to join the efforts of the Ministry of Health, People Deputies and public organizations for the common goal – to provide access for Ukrainian patients to a high quality treatment. Procurement reform – is a chance for Ukrainian patients to receive medicines without corruption,” stated Olga Stefanyshyna, executive director of the CF “Patients of Ukraine”.  Disruption and discreditation of the procurement process at the beginning of 2017 will lead to the situation when patients cannot receive needed medicines on time, and those politicians who are now trying to disrupt the process of medicines procurement should be ready to face with political responsibility for the patients’ lives”. It is also worth noting that neighboring countries adopt successful experience of Ukraine in the procurement of medicines through international specialized organizations. Particularly, Moldova started the same procedure this year. Contact person: Aliona Romanyuk +38 093 10 800 a[rel~="mtli_filesize11609kB"]:after {content:" (116.09 kB)"}a[rel~="mtli_filesize2235kB"]:after {content:" (22.35 kB)"}

The Tasigna drug for the treatment of patients with leukemia was procured by the international organization UNDP almost three times cheaper in comparison with the prices of the Ministry of Health

While the Ministry of Health procured the Tasigna drug (Nilotinib, 200 mg, capsules) at $ 53.27 per tablet, the United Nations Development Program managed to procure this drug of the same manufacturer and in the same dosage at $ 20.57 per tablet. The United Nations Development Program procured 55 020 tablets (in accordance with the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine # 557) and saved more than 61% of budget funds in comparison with the Ministry of Health prices 2014. “Such savings once again prove that the drugs procurements through international organizations save the lives of patients. A saving of 60% is a proof that all patients will receive the necessary drugs without corruption, and the saved funds will be spent on procurements of additional drugs,” says Olga Stefanyshyna, executive director of the Charitable Foundation “Patients of Ukraine”. It is worth noting that Tasigna drug is under patent protection, but thanks to the process of drugs procurements through international organizations it was possible to achieve a significant price reduction. Last year, Crown Agents procured this drug 35% cheaper than the Ministry of Health in 2014. “Thanks to international organizations for two consecutive years it has been possible to procure drugs much cheaper than the Ministry of Health did. For us, patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia, this means that we will be able to survive this year. However, the procured drugs are still not enough to provide all patients with – it’s enough for only 4 months of treatment. The manufacturing company, taking into account the situation in Ukraine, should reduce the price for the State for these drugs,” said Ivan Zelenskyi, Chairman of the CF “Drop of Blood”, a patient with chronic myelogenous leukemia. The drug was delivered to warehouses of the state enterprise “Ukrmedpostach” subordinated to the Ministry of Health on March 6, 2017. The whole cycle of the tender procedure, from the moment of transfer of money to the organization and delivery of the drug, took less than 3 months.INNBrand name and manufacturer 2014, MOH 2015, Crown Agents2016, UNDPNilotinib, 200 mgTASIGNA, capsules, hard, 200 mg, # 28 in blisters. Manufacturer: Novartis Phrama, Stein, Switzerland $53,27 $34,45$20,57It should be noted that Ukraine’s successful experience in procurement of drugs through international organizations is being accepted by Moldova! Already this year Moldova will receive drugs for two pilot projects from the United Nations Development Program. For reference: In October 2016, the Ministry of Health signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Program for the procurement of drugs for public funds in 2016. The State allocated for 2016 UAH 397 065 700,0 for the procurement of drugs for adult cancer patients and UAH 353,000,000,0 for oncological children.

Simplified Medicines Authorization System Launched in Ukraine

Simplified Medicines Authorization System has been launched in Ukraine. The Ministry of Justice registered and published a corresponding Order of the Ministry of Health, ensuring that medicines authorized in USA, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, Canada and the EU may enter the Ukrainian market in 17 days! 

Civil society made public the “black list” of pharmaceutical companies worked through distributors of dubious reputation

24 foreign pharmaceutical manufacturing companies took part in the international procurements in Ukraine through Ukrainian distributors. This is reported by the CF “Patients of Ukraine”, All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH and Anti-Corruption Action Center who today issued the “black list” of such manufacturers.

State Budget of Ukraine: UAH 5,9 billion was allocated for medications for severely ill patients

UAH 5,9 billion was allocated from the State Budget for medications for severely ill patients. Tonight deputies have voted for the relevant document. Patients with HIV, tuberculosis, viral hepatitis, pediatric and adult oncology, hemophilia and other illnesses receive medication for UAH 2 billion more than last year.