Patient and anticorruption organizations call on pharm companies not to sell medical products to Ukraine at the price of gold and decrease the prices instead to the level of the year 2013. After envelops were opened up during tender procedures it appeared that the prices were substantially raised by pharm companies without any grounds. For example, medical products for children’s’ oncology were raided by 40%-60%, and in some cases, for example, pediatric hemodialysis, the prices were raised by up to 300%.
For this very reason civil activists brought to the press conference the pills painted into gold in order to demonstrate that pharm companies are trying to sell the pills to the country at the price of gold. These pills will also be sent to pharm companies in the west in order to congratulate them as price winners in the nomination of Highest Prices.
«Instead of making step toward Ukraine and sell medical products at so called “social” price” pharm companies made a decision to make money on our misfortune and war and raised their prices on certain medical products by up to 300%, selling the pills at the price of gold – said Dmytro Sherembey, the head of CF “Patients of Ukraine». – “It is unbelievable that thousands of Ukrainian patients may die because of the greed of businessmen running pharm companies. This is why we fight for the decrease in prices for medical products in Ukraine and hope that they will at least be average for the region”.
Legal consultants also support the words of activists, stating that the prices are too high and raised up without any grounds. «We have compared prices for the same medical products against the prices in neighboring countries such as Moldova, Bulgaria, Check republic. The very same medical products cost ten times less, – says Olena Scherban, legal consultant from “Anticorruption Center”. – Such a drastic increase in prices gives us grounds to file claim with Antimonopoly committee about possible conspiracy of pharm companies and imitation of competition for the sake of unbelievable monetary gain», – she added.
Every year MOM of Ukraine procures medical products necessary for treatment of deadly diseases based on 18 treatment programs that exist within the country. Among these are oncology, hepatitis, hemophilia, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, etc. However, the initial budget deficit, medical payments and constant growth of dollar and euro leave Ukrainian patients no chance for life.
We want to remind that in April CF “Patients of Ukraine” initiated the round table, calling on pharm companies, taking into account situation in the country, to make a step forward toward Ukraine and the patients and not to raise the prices for their products. Nevertheless most companies have not just raised the prices to the inflation level. They have actually doubled or even tripled their prices. Most companies explained this by the absence of necessary procedures, inflation, etc. However, the experience of the largest international companies such as Abbvie or Glaxo Smith Klein demonstrated that decrease in prices is possible. And these very companies came to tenders with the prices of previous year.
To bring up attention of international community toward such an outrageous situation, Ukrainian activists sent open letters to all central offices of pharm companies calling on them to exert influence on their Ukrainian braches and ask them to revise their prices. They also recorded video address відео-звернення of parents whose children suffer from oncological conditions, asking pharm companies not to kill their children with their monetary policy. The copies of these letters were also sent to international organizations that protect rights of patients, UN, WHO, etc.
To make situation even more clear, the activists developed their rating of the 8 greediest pharm companies. This rating includes such companies as MSD, Astellas, Novartis, Medac, Baxter, Lumier-Pharma, Janssen as well as Ukrainian “Darnitsya”.
«The procurement of medical products for HIV-positive Ukrainians demonstrated that decrease in prices for medical products is possible. – says Volodymyr Zhovtyak, the head of coordination committee of CF “All Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS”. – however, it is only possible to do in the area where there is a strong patient community which realizes that they actually control the situation. The very same companies, however, that offer medical products for other diseases, including children’s diseases, came to tenders with drastically increased prices. We cannot stand aside this outrageous situation and will fight for the price decrease in medical products for all patients of Ukraine”, – he added.
Patients’ oranizations are very much concerned about the order of MOH from July 7, 2014, wich is now sent for aproval to Cabinet of Ministers. The order is on “Amendents to the use of costs foreseen in county budget for implementation of programs and centralized actions”. This order allows for the price increase by up to 53% and automatically decreases the quantity of medical products and number of human lives saved in Ukraine by almost two fold.