The newly appointed official presents new data on meds and vaccines procurement and delivery, blaming bureaucracy for delays. Ms. Suprun calls on the civic society to help ministry identify all its flaws.
Kyiv, August 15, 2016. The first medicines procurement through international organizations helped to save 790 million hryvnia and reduce corruption risks. This was stated by Uliana Suprun, Acting Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine at a press briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Despite the economic crisis and decrease in total public funding of medical treatment programs, for some medical programs we spent 87 per cent more funds in 2015, than in 2014. Total number of procured medicines increased by almost 55%,” said Ms. Suprun. A significant part of them was purchased directly from manufacturers, including 100%of medicines for patients with orphan diseases, among them rare medicines for children. “These are high-quality medicines that are qualified by the World Health Organisation (WHO). These are the same medicines that are used throughout the world,” noted Uliana Suprun. She added that this year twice as many manufacturers participated in the auction than last year. About 40% of those who won the tenders are Ukrainian manufacturers.
Uliana Suprun said that the main cause of all delivery problems was bureaucratic procedures on the part of Ukraine. In particular, it took six weeks to adopt the necessary laws, another 8.5 months to develop regulations and sign contracts and two weeks to transfer money. As the money was transferred only in December, there were no ready products in the warehouses at the time of the order, and their manufacturing required 10 months. “We are thinking about how to accelerate the process. One of these things is electronic documents, but so far they are not available. […] In 2016, we have prepared and made proposals on resolutions in order to make bureaucratic procedures simpler. We have already passed the necessary documents for the Cabinet’s approval,” noted Uliana Suprun. Specific nomenclature for 2016 procurements has also been submitted for approval.
“As of today, 100% of medication for orphan diseases, HIV diagnostic tests, children hemophilia and medicines for patients with hepatitis C have been delivered,” reported Ms. Suprun. In particular, UNDP has delivered 75%, UNICEF – 64%, Crown Agents -57%. “In general, 49% of total supply has been delivered to the regions. The rest of the medicines are at the warehouse of state-owned enterprises and are waiting for orders from the Ministry of Healthcare, prepared by the financial and economic department,” said Ms. Suprun. These procedures can take 3-4 days. She added that information about the delivery of medicines to Ukraine’s regions is published on the website of the Ministry. It will update on Monday every 2 weeks.
BCG vaccine from UNICEF is to arrive in late August. Medicines and vaccines that were ordered with a delay in January and February 2016 are expected in September and October. The situation at the airport connected with a delay of drugs for cancer is caused by a misunderstanding between Crown Agents and the distributor. According to Uliana Suprun, this issue solution “does not depend on the Ministry of Healthcare, it depends on Crown Agents and the distributor.” She informed that the ministry representatives meet with them twice a week to speed up the process.
Commenting on the situation with delays of deliveries, Ms. Suprun reminded that the Ministry of Healthcare is directly responsible for the delivery of medication from the center to the regions, but not at the regional level. “If there is a problem that medicines are already in the region, but not in hospitals – you should address the regional department. […] If there are no changes – you can contact us and we will find out why they are not distributed further,” said Uliana Suprun. She endorsed civil society activists, lawyers and representatives of patient organizations to engage in the process this way helping the ministry to identify the problems
Uliana Suprun noted that in 2016-2017 procurements will also be held through international organizations. Procurement contracts for 2016 are ready, and approval of nomenclature is expected. “Today at 4 p.m. the ministry calls the working group dealing with public procurement – lawyers, volunteers who give us advice and patients NGO representatives in order to develop a clear action plan and set deadlines so that in 2 weeks we already have the road map,” she added. This working group will review the reasons of delayed delivery of medicines to the regions.
The Acting Minister noted that now they cooperate with only three international organizations. “The law will contain a list of organizations that can cooperate with Ukraine: International Dispensary Association, Crown Agents, Global Drug Facility, Partnership for Supply Chain Management, NATO Support & Procurement Agency, UNDP, UNICEF. When we turned to these organizations, only Crown Agents UNDP and UNICEF replied that they want to cooperate with us. Other organizations did not answer,” she explained.
July 12, 2016 – This year’s Ukraine saved 790 million hryvnia due to international procurement of medicines – MPs, activists