Long-term agreements with medicine manufacturers are introduced in medicines procurement for the state

Dec 11, 2017

Kyiv, December 12th, 2017 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine has announced signing of four long-term agreements with medicine producers. This is a global approach which allows to decrease medicine prices and also ensure their fast and uninterrupted supply.

In total, agreements for supply of 11 medicines were signed with 4 international manufacturers. These medicines are used as a therapy for such rare diseases as multiple sclerosis, Gaucher disease, mucopolysaccharidosis, cystic fibrosis, other orphan metabolic diseases, hemophilia and for prevention of bleedings.

"Long-term agreements with manufacturers are a global practice that is used in the EU, the United States, in the procurement system of the United Nations and in most developed countries," says Dr. Ulana Suprun, acting Minister of Health of Ukraine. - The conclusion of these agreements will allow us to additionally get our country a 20% discount for medicines and ensure their permanent presence in hospitals for patients."

It should be noted that the process of medicine production usually lasts from 3 to 6 months. That is why, due to the lack of long-term planning, Ukraine often bought the stock remaining in distributor warehouse, which significantly increased the price, or had to wait for up to 6 months after the company won the tender, as medicines were being produced exclusively for the country.

Agreements concluded by UNDP establish a framework that allows to order medicines right after the Cabinet of Ministers decree is adopted and the relevant agreement is signed between the Ministry of Health and UNDP. Agreements with manufacturers are signed for one year, but may be extended for an additional period of up to 2 years. All agreements signed by UNDP with manufacturers may later be transferred to the government procurement agency and used for direct procurement of medicines.

The agreements were signed with Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. (Israel), Pfizer Group company (Netherlands), Novo Nordisk (Denmark) and Sanofi Genzyme (a Sanofi company, France). The first medicines under the contracts will be delivered to Ukraine within two weeks.

Mr. Janthomas Hiemstra, UNDP Country Director in Ukraine, commented: "Long-term agreements with pharmaceutical companies are used in many countries to ensure that patients have uninterrupted access to high-quality medicines at the most competitive prices. They will allow Ukraine to save hundreds of millions of Hryvnia and to buy more life-saving medicines within the same budget.”

The signing of long-term agreements was also supported by patient organizations. "Usually medicines for orphan diseases are unique and produced in small quantities exactly to meet the order of the countries," says Tetiana Kulesha, chairman of the board of Orphan Diseases of Ukraine. "We fully support the idea of ​​introducing a system of long-term contracts, which will allow us to be sure that the medicines will arrive at the right time and in the required quantity. Interruption of treatment in many orphan diseases leads to serious disability, or even to death of the patient."

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