On April 1, 2017, the Ukrainian government launched the Affordable Medicines National Prescription Drugs Cost Reimbursement Program providing for full or partial reimbursement of essential medicines for treatment of cardiovascular diseases, asthma and diabetes mellitus type 2 (also known as type 2 diabetes).
HOW TO GET FREE-OF-CHARGE MEDICINES?
- Contact your doctor and get a correct prescription.
- Go to one of the Participating Pharmacies (look for the Affordable Medicines sticker).
- Get your prescription medicines free of charge or with a small co-payment.
The cost of these prescription medicines is fully or partially reimbursed by the State. Only mono-preparations (medicines containing only one active ingredient) are included in the Program.
WHERE TO GET FREE-OF-CHARGE MEDICINES?
Patients can get the reimbursable prescription medicines at any Participating Pharmacy all across Ukraine. To join the Affordable Medicines Program, pharmacies must enter into a special contract with the local authorities and have the Affordable Medicines sticker on the front door.
WHY ARE THESE DISEASE CATEGORIES INCLUDED IN THE PROGRAM?
The mechanism of reimbursement applies to essential medicines prescribed for treatment of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus type 2 (also known as type 2 diabetes) and asthma.
The priority was given to medicines for these disease categories, because they have the highest mortality rates, significantly reduce quality of life and can be effectively treated on an outpatient basis.
In Ukraine, 65% of all deaths can be traced to cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Available statistics show that in 2015 over one million people in Ukraine had type 2 diabetes, while an estimated number of Ukrainians with type I diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes) was 6 times lower. In the same year, Ukraine has registered over 210,000 patients with asthma, mainly children and young adults.
WHICH ACTIVE SUBSTANCES ARE INCLUDED IN THE PROGRAM?
DIABETES MELLITUS TYPE 2:
AN EXAMPLE CORRECT PRESCRIPTION
WHAT TO DO WHEN A PARTICULAR PHARMACY HAS NO MEDICINES COVERED BY THE AFFORDABLE MEDICINES PROGRAM IN STOCK?
- Patients may wait until the medicine is supplied to the pharmacy.
- Patients may go to a different pharmacy.
- Patients may choose medicine of a different brand and pay the difference.
WHICH MEDICINES ARE FREE OF CHARGE AND WHICH COME WITH CO-PAYMENT?
A special reference pricing model was developed and implemented within the Affordable Medicines Program in order to regulate costs and make essential medicines more affordable and accessible to the public. The register of wholesale prices for medicinal products and medical devices establishes the highest selling price for the reimbursable medicines. The State reimburses in 100% amount only the cheapest medicines of a specific category group registered in the Affordable Medicines Program, which means that patients can get such medicines free of charge.
Patients may also get a more expensive medicine (the price for which does not exceed the reference price) by paying the difference between the lowest price and the actual retail price.
Medicines are not subject to this reimbursement program whose prices exceed the reference price in the five neighboring countries. In addition, the medicine manufacturer’s decision is important - the manufacturer must submit application for the medicine to be considered and included in the National Prescription Drugs Reimbursement Program.
CAN PATIENTS OBTAIN THE MEDICINES COVERED BY THIS PROGRAM WITHOUT PRESCRIPTION?
The government shall not put any restrictions on the retail marketing of medicinal products. When patients want to buy the medicines registered in the Affordable Medicines Program without prescription, they can do it at any pharmacy.
However, in this case, the pharmacy will have sufficient grounds to refuse releasing the medicine free of charge or with a small co-payment.
THE UPDATED REGISTER OF MEDICINES INCLUDED IN THE AFFORDABLE MEDICINES GOVERNMENT PROGRAM
On February 5, 2018, the Ministry of Health approved the new register of medicines reimbursable under the Affordable Medicines program, which has been updated for the third time since the Program’s launch.
The updated Affordable Medicines register includes 239 preparations produced by 48 manufacturers: 18 Ukrainian and 30 foreign pharmaceutical companies. As we have informed, 198 medicines of 43 manufacturers were included in the Program before February 5, 2018.
Under the new reference pricing model (which provides pharmaceutical companies with five additional days to reduce their price offers), the list of reimbursable medicines could be further expanded to include 13 new names. The updated list already contains 47 new medicines that are to be fully reimbursable by the state.