Five countries followed the successful experience of Ukraine in medicine procurement through international organizations
Five countries in the region have followed the successful experience of Ukraine in the medicine procurement through specialized international organizations. In 2017/2018, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan signed contracts with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for the procurement of medicines and healthcare products.
A number of countries of Eastern Europe are planning to sign contracts with international organizations in the near future. All these countries used to purchase medicines and healthcare products through national agencies in accordance with the traditional centralized procurement procedure, but have recently switched to the procurement through specialized international organizations.
"To overcome the flagrant corruption in public medicine procurement, in 2015 Ukraine switched to a different approach and addressed international organizations requesting support in this process. The implementation of this approach has not only proven to be the best practice for eliminating corruption, but also efficient for saving lives, since now we provide a lot more seriously ill patients with quality medicines. We are delighted to share this experience with other countries, to help them with practical tips and advice", noted Olha Stefanyshyna, Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine.
According to the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine, cooperation with international organizations in public procurement resulted in up to 39% savings of the allocated budget funds. When comparing prices, in 2015 international organizations managed to purchase some medicines and healthcare products at up to 67 times lower prices than the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. Moreover, international organizations used the saved funds to procure about 70% of additional medicines for some government programs.
In addition, such experience of cooperation with specialized organizations opened doors for Ukrainian manufacturers, which can now participate in international tenders for the procurement of medicines and healthcare products to these countries. For instance, in 2017 one Ukrainian company won the UNDP tender for anti-TB medicines procurement to Moldova.
Before 2015, the procurement of medicines and healthcare products was a very sensitive issue for Ukraine, as according to the Security Service of Ukraine, up to 40% of the procurement budget was overspent or plundered. In that context, few patients received essential medicines and necessary treatment. Therefore, in 2015 Ukraine adopted the law on procurement of medicines and healthcare products through specialized international organizations.
For the fourth consecutive year, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UK procurement agency Crown Agents implement the procurement of medicines and healthcare products to Ukraine. All organizations were selected pursuant to the current legislation, the Law of Ukraine on Public Procurement in particular, and have extensive medical procurement experience.