Meeting with MSD

WHO prequalification should be an obligatory condition for the state procurements of generic medications

From now on such life-saving drug for PLHIV as Efavirenz, will be available in Ukraine only in case of its WHO prequalification. Such agreement was reached at the meeting of pharmaceutical company MSD representatives and the members of UCAB.

«10 years ago, when there was no treatment in Ukraine at all, we were happy with at least some medications. And we didn’t care if there is any license. At that moment I weighed 40 kilos and my life was saved due to generic company, which brought this treatment to Ukraine, not having any license. — said Dmytro Sherembey, the Head of UCAB and the Director of Communication, Policy & Advocacy Department of the «All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH — It’s today that we understand: every generic drug should have appropriate quality and WHO prequalification should become an obligatory condition for the state procurements in Ukraine.»

Second important topic raised by the patients was access to ART in Ukraine, which includes its high price as a barrier. «There are severe financial shortages for treatment procurements in Ukraine. Thousands of patients are in the waiting lists. The government will never choose to procure the drug, which costs US$600 per month. That’s why we will cooperate with pharmaceutical companies in order they decrease prices for life-saving medications and take the standard of living in our country into account. — said Yaroslav Blyakharskiy, UCAB member.

According to tradition, training sessions preceded the meeting with pharmaceutical company. The leading UNDP expert Boyan Konstantinov had specific visit to Kyiv in order to provide Ukrainian patients with the knowledge on the main aspects of intellectual property rights and its influence on access to treatment in Ukraine.

In the near future a specific UCAB meeting devoted to virus Hepatitis treatment should take place, as there is no such a treatment in Ukraine at the moment. «There’s no definite data on the number of people living with Hepatitis in Ukraine. They only say it’s from 1 to 3 millions people. This is the reason why we initiated preparation for the meeting devoted to Hepatitis, while this issue is only at the initial stage of discussion among state officials.» said Dmytro Koval, UCAB member, the Director of «Stop Hepatitis» NGO.

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