Tracing medicine distribution: NGOs start collecting information on medicine deliveryNov 14, 2017
In the last two and a half years, international procurement of medicines allowed Ukraine to save hundreds of millions Hryvnia, later used to purchase more medicines and ensure treatment to a larger number of patients. But once purchased, how are medicines distributed from the warehouse to different regions? Which public hospitals do they reach, and are the quantities planned efficiently?
The Ministry of Health of Ukraine uses information provided by authorities in the regions to decide on the volume of medicine orders and their distribution to the regional (oblast) level. Already at the regional level, there is one more stage of distribution - directly to the hospitals, where the patient should receive medication following a prescription. To provide Ukrainians with medicines responding to actual needs, a transparent and effective system of planning, procurement and distribution of medicines is needed, making it possible to trace the path of any medicine from its purchase directly to the final patient who receives it. The Ministry of Health is currently working with the national and international, in particular UNDP, to build such a system.
At the same time, to increase the transparency of medicine distribution as it is today, UNDP initiated a process to ensure public monitoring of the delivery, availability and use of medicines at the local level. The main objective of such monitoring is to obtain data on the timing and volume of supplies of medicines, purchased by UNDP with state budget funds, to warehouses and hospitals in the regions, as well as to collect information on the availability of such treatment to patients.
Public monitoring has begun and will continue until the end of 2017. Information is being collected by four organizations in the following regions:
- Kharkiv region - Charitable organization "Network 100 percent of life";
- Lviv region - NGO "Iskra Nadiyi";
- Poltava region – Patients Charitable Foundation “Drop of blood”;
- Cherkasy oblast – NGO “All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV / AIDS”.
Information will be collected in relation with two medical programs - oncology in adult patients and chronic viral hepatitis in children.
This information will allow to assess the level of availability of state-funded medicines in hospitals around the country, and to what extent delivery of medicines to the regions happens timely. The monitoring results will be used to increase the effectiveness of the medicines distribution process.