Both activists and officials agree that uncontrolled use of antibiotics will increase mortality rate in Ukraine


The concerned medical community is eager to regulate distribution of drugs and meet resistance when it comes to producers and pharmacies.

By 2050, most antibiotics will not fight our diseases. The reason is that people use antibiotics uncontrollably, hospitals prescribe them incorrectly and medicines are uncontrollably added to animal food for growth. This was stated by Oleksiy Kyrychenko, MP, at a briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Doctors’ authority is decreasing. People see ads, buy antibiotics in pharmacies, do not stick to the right dose and period of treatment. This leads to relapse,” he noted. According to him, the solution is reimbursement of antibiotics. “If we give the opportunity to receive free antibiotics in pharmacies, the patients will be able to go to their doctor, who will prescribe the correct treatment, write out a prescription. So people will get the right treatment,” believes the MP. He stressed that this reform is costly but treatment of antibiotic-resistant forms costs ten times more.

Victor Lyashko, head of the NGO “Infection Control in Ukraine”, explained that if the situation does not change, soon Ukrainians will be threatened with longer and more expensive treatment of infectious diseases and postoperative complications as well as increased mortality because of uncontrolled use of antibiotics and formation of human resistance to these antibiotics. “Just in a few years, antibiotics can stop fighting most diseases. Therefore pneumonia, gonorrhea, tuberculosis and postoperative complications will become fatal for humanity,” says Mr. Lyashko. According to him, 25 percent of all medicines purchased by Ukrainians are antibiotics. Their total cost is UAH 15 billion. “This is a problem throughout the world. If we do not take action, by 2050 the world will lose up to 300 million people,” he added.

According to Oksana Syvak, Deputy Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine, they expect the greatest resistance to reform from all pharmaceutical companies and all those who make money from it. Despite this, the Ministry of Healthcare is working on the National Strategy for containment of antimicrobial resistance and the Action Plan to combat antimicrobial resistance. The first item will be the policy of antibiotic use, the second – epidemiological surveillance for antimicrobial resistance. The next direction is epidemiological surveillance for infections associated with medical aid.

Olha Bohomolets, MP (Petro Poroshenko Block faction), Parliamentary Committee on Healthcare, noted that about half of the antibiotics purchased by Ukrainians do not cure the disease but do harm to the body as patients just purchase them at pharmacies without indications for treatment and destroy helpful bacteria. “Parliament should demonstrate tough requirements to the Ministry of Healthcare and the Cabinet in order to adjust the Ukrainian health system to European quality and European standards and increasing life expectancy in Ukraine as soon as possible. This means that antibiotics are to be sold at pharmacies with a prescription, and the doctor must take personal responsibility for the quality of treatment and prescribed medicines, according to the European standards of treatment that are to be adapted and approved by healthcare Ministry this year,” stated the MP.

Vasyl Lazoryshynets, director of Amosov National Institute on Cardiovascular Surgery, said that “abuse” of antibiotics leads to severe heart diseases. Depending on the antibiotic group, the number of such patients is 40 to 100 percent. “New antibiotics that are currently being developed and may be susceptible to the existing diseases will appear in this country only in 2022-23,” he noted.

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