Ukrainian children with cancer received medicines worth 60 million Hryvnia

Apr 3, 2017

Kyiv, April 3, 2017 – Today a large shipment of life-saving oncology medicines from one of the leading world manufacturers arrived in Ukraine. Five medicines, produced in France, Germany and Canada, for a total amount of over 60 mln Ukrainian Hryvnia are being unloaded at the warehouse of State Enterprise “UkrMedPostach”, from where they will be further distributed to hospitals around Ukraine to be provided to thousands of children who suffer from cancer.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) started helping the Ministry of Health to procure medicines and diagnostics in 2015, after the new legislation was adopted.

The extent of programs was increased in 2016 to include adult and child oncology, among others. Procurement for adult oncology program is already finalized, the expected savings constitute 46 % of budget or around 180 mln Hryvnia.

Part of the child oncology program is also finalized and current shipment is the first one to bring oncology medicines for children in Ukraine this year.

Minister of Health a.i. Dr Ulyana Suprun commented: “Ukrainian children deserve only high-quality efficient medicines. Procurement through international organizations allowed us to ensure efficient supply of essential medicines and uninterrupted treatment of small Ukrainian patients.

12% of medicines procured with state budget funds of 2016 are already supplied. Medicines for patients with orphan disease are almost fully delivered. 52% juvenile rheumatoid arthritis medicines as well as 23% of epidermolysis bullosa medicines and 65% AIDS medicines are delivered. Cystic fibrosis medicines (currently 49%) are in process of being brought to the country. 99% of tenders are already closed. Evaluation and cost estimate approval are ongoing for other programs.

As of today, UNDP has completely finalized procurement under 12 and partly under another 7 programs having spent $43 mln, which constitutes 56% of the funds. Contracts for $17 mln out of $43 mln have already been signed (the rest are in the process of being signed), but of course that number is rapidly changing as we are signing new contract almost every day.

Neal Walker, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine commented: “We share the country’s concerns about children and adults with cancer, who often have had to carry the burden of inefficiency and corruption that characterized the efforts in previous years. We welcome the actions of the Ministry towards increased financing for oncology treatment programs and towards transparent and competitive oncology medicine procurement. We also call on the Ministry and other actors to keep moving proactively, revise treatment protocols and medicine list where necessary to ensure that Ukrainians receives the very best treatment and medicines they deserve.

For all the procurement that UNDP conducts in more than 160 countries around the world, it works under the world-class standards of public procurement. According to those principles, medicines procurement in Ukraine passes a few essential stages.

Preparations for procurement by UNDP are started at the moment the agreement with the Ministry of Health is signed and Technical Specifications for procurement are received. Specifications are passed on to area experts who check consistency of the information provided in the documents, as well as how the competitive environment for procurement is ensured. At this stage UNDP is focused on making sure the interests of patients are protected in the first place. In case of technical mistakes or limitation of competition drawn by the specifications conditions, UNDP reverts to the Ministry of Health with request for clarifications or revision of the documents.

At the next stage, UNDP launches the tender and collects bids. The amount of collected bids can be as high as a few hundred for programs like adult oncology. Following is the most important stage – evaluation of bids, which consists of administrative, technical and financial evaluation. These stages allow to verify consistency with technical standards and, afterwards, pick the best “value for money” option.

UNDP is committed to supplying the citizens of Ukraine exclusively with high-quality medicines and establishes strict standards of quality for medicines procurement, equal for all participants. UNDP uses such criteria as certificates of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), registration in Stringent Regulation Authority (SRA) country, registration in Ukraine with proved experience of medicine use in Ukraine over last 3 years and others. Detailed set of criteria can be found online in supporting documents for particular tender.

The selected proposal is then submitted to the Ministry of Health for approval. UNDP concludes a contract with supplier, where the production times and delivery dates are specified. It should be noted that while some medicines are in manufacturers stock when the contract is signed, productions is necessary for most items. Medicines production cycles vary from a few days to several months.

Multi-year planning of medicines procurement and long-term agreements with manufacturers would allow manufacturers to supply medicines to Ukraine upon pre-planned schedule in the future.

The Ministry of Health of Ukraine, supported by UNDP, is working on creating a procurement agency, which will be fully responsible for medicines and medical products procurement starting 2019.

Background information

Cancer remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. According to WHO, cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and was responsible for 8.8 million deaths in 2015. Globally, nearly 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer. Every 4th man and every 5th woman in Ukraine are at risk of having this deadly disease as around 450 Ukrainians are diagnosed with cancer every day.

Ministry of Health concluded an agreement with UNDP for the procurement of medicines under state budget funds of 2016 in October of 2016. 397 mln UAH were allocated for procurement of medicines for adult patients with oncology, while another 353 mln UAH were allocated for child oncology medicines in 2016. This year, funding will be increased for 48 mln UAH under adult oncology and for 200 mln UAH under child oncology program.

Media inqueries:

Yevgeniy Zelenko, UNDP Ukraine Media Officer | +38 044 254 0035 | yevgeniy.zelenko@undp.org

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