90% of medicines from the Oncology For Adults Program are procured cheaper today than in 2014 – the AnTAC’s report

We presented the report “Four Years of Healthy Procurement of Medicines” – detailed analysis of the 4-year treatment of corruption in the sphere of procurement of medicines in Ukraine.

According to the report prepared by the Anti-Corruption Action Center with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation, within four years of existence of the system for procurement of medicines via international organizations, it has been possible to significantly expand the number of positions procured by the state for the treatment of oncology patients.

The number of drugs in the list of medicines, procured by the state via international organizations for pediatric and adult oncology patients, has increased by 30-40%, depending on the program.

“The procurement of medicines via international organizations has become the new successful case in the fight against corruption, which other countries started to utilize. Over the past few years, countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan have started to utilize such format”, — commented the acting Minister of Health of Ukraine Dr. Ulana Suprun.

In general, if we compare prices in 2014 – in 2017, most drugs for oncology patients were procured cheaper. Even in cases when the international organization in Ukraine procured the same brands and forms of drugs which the Ministry of Health of Ukraine used to procure before, prices have dropped significantly compared with 2014.

“90% of medicines from the Oncology For Adults Program are procured cheaper today than in 2014. For example, in case with such drugs as Bicalutamide and Docetaxel, the price was reduced by 19 and 6 times respectively”, — says Olena Shcherban, the head of the medical department of the Anti-Corruption Action Center.

First of all, this was achieved due to the increase of competition, the direct procurements at manufacturers, the creation of confidence for purchasers, and the very procedure of procurement at foreign and Ukrainian suppliers, the entry of generic producers into the market, as well as signing of long-term contracts with producers whose positions are monopolistic in the market.

“According to results of the work, in particular, establishment of supply schedules, conducting the audit and review of nomenclatures, last year the Ministry of Health managed to increase funding for the Oncology For Adults in more than two times. At the beginning of the year, 910 million UAH were added to the allocated 709 million UAH for this direction. In 2018, the total amount of financing this area amounted to about 1.6 billion UAH, while the state allocated 502 million UAH to Pediatric Oncology. These funds will provide significant improvements in the provision of patients with medicines”, — explains Olga Stefanyshyna, Deputy Minister of Health on European Integration.

The increase of access to free treatment is the significant achievement, since for most patients expensive treatment or the purchase of needed medications is the big burden, and sometimes is simply unaffordable.

According to the research “Health Index. Ukraine” in 2017, more than 60% of families in Ukraine were forced to either borrow funds or to sell property in order to pay for the treatment or expensive medicines. Almost 75% of all hospitalized patients in 2017 indicated the difficulty in finding money for drugs.

By helping to solve the problem of access to treatment, we are helping to reduce the huge financial burden faced by families of oncology patients”, — says Victoria Tymoshevska, the director of public initiative “Public Health” of the International Renaissance Foundation.

“The increase of number of medicines procured for state funds is primarily resulted into more treated patients and more saved lives. The key factors for this are public control and elimination of corruption during procurements. At the same time, the access of patients to medicines depends not only on centralized procurements via international organizations, but also on the reduction of prices for medicines procured in regions through local budgets”, — adds Tymoshevska.

We should remind that at the end of last year the opportunity to involve international organizations to state procurements of medicines and medical products has been extended for another year. Also, the state enterprise Medical Procurements of Ukraine was registered in October 2018, which in future should ensure the establishment of the center of procurement expertise and will help regions to increase the efficiency of using local expenditures for the procurement of medicines and medical products.

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