The Ministry of Health of Ukraine has signed agreements with international organizations to procure medicines for 2018 budget funds
International organizations will announce tenders in the near future.
Dr Ulana Suprun, Acting Minister of Health of Ukraine commented: "Systemic changes cannot be fast. It took us some time to adjust the procurement process. But in the meanwhile, the international procurement has proved its economic efficiency and allowed us to provide more patients with the necessary treatment. Every year we see more positive dynamics in the procurement scheduling and each time we accelerate this process".
In 2018, international organizations will purchase medicines under 40 state programs for a total of UAH 5.9 billion. As before, medicines procurement will be implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UK procurement agency Crown Agents.
All organizations are selected pursuant to the current legislation, Law of Ukraine on Public Procurement in particular, and have extensive medical procurement experience. For example, UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories, and is a world leader in vaccine procurement. UNDP operates in 170 countries, deals with sustainable development challenges and helps to eradicate poverty in the world. Crown Agents operates in more than 100 countries and has more than 185 years of experience in developping efficient public procurement systems.
"The effective cooperation with international organizations in the medicines procurement has demonstrated that we are on the right path. But we continue to work to improve the current public procurement system. This year, in view of recommendations of the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine, we have improved certain aspects of agreements with international organizations," said Olha Stefanyshyna, Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine.
In particular, the timing and scheduling of tender procedures are now specified in the agreements. Therefore, already at the contracting stage, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine will regulate tender schedules, announcement and tendering timing, proposal evaluation, etc.
In addition, the new agreements envisage changes in payment terms and introduction of progress payment for each program. From now on, the Ministry will pay for medicines at the stage of signing agreements with respective international organizations and medicines suppliers (manufacturers and distributors). Relevant estimates will also include information on the medicines delivery schedules.
In 2015, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine started medicines procurement through specialized international organizations, and this system proved efficient by providing more patients with high-quality medicines. Moreover, according to the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine, cooperation with international organizations in public procurement resulted in up to 40% savings of the state budget funds allocated for medicine procurement.
"We have observed the remarkable progress achieved by the Ministry of Health in the organization of international medicine procurement. And I believe that we keep strengthening our cooperation. The great news is that we managed to sign the agreements already in April. We also welcome the work of the Ministry’s team particularly dedicated to reforming the national public procurement system and creating the Ukrainian procurement agency as an integral part of this process," commented Jan Thomas Hiemstra, UNDP Country Director in Ukraine.
Christine Jackson, Senior Procurement Consultant at Crown Agents said: "We are delighted to see how the Ukraine’s public procurement system is gradually improving in line with the transparent and internationally accepted procurement practices. This is the kind of changes that result in efficiency and effectiveness in medicines purchases, which brings more opportunities to satisfy a growing demand for live-saving medicines and medical devices, ensuring that more and more Ukrainians are now being provided with high-quality, advanced and timely treatment".
"UNICEF welcomes the opportunity to continue supporting the Ministry of Health with the procurement of life-saving vaccines and antiretroviral drugs to ensure protection against infectious diseases for children and adults in Ukraine and access to uninterrupted treatment for people living with HIV / AIDS. UNICEF will continue providing technical support to the Government required for establishing an efficient and transparent national procurement system," noted Giovanna Barberis, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine.