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Ukraine starts accounting for antimicrobials

13 January 2022

Since January 1, 2022, healthcare institutions that provide inpatient medical care have started keeping records of the total consumption of antimicrobials, a total of 29 medicines. This will allow seeing how many antibiotics (and which ones) are prescribed by doctors to patients in inpatient departments, and assess the validity of such prescriptions, ensure control over nosocomial infections, and reduce the duration of patients’ stay in inpatient treatment.

Step-by-step preparations for the introduction of electronic prescription medicines are also underway. Starting from April 2022, it is planned to start prescribing and issuing electronic prescriptions for antibacterial (antimicrobial) medicines registered in Ukraine.

To obtain these medicines, the following algorithm is provided:

  • the patient goes to their doctor;
  • the doctor writes out a prescription in the electronic health care system (EHCS);
  • the doctor also provides the patient with a prescription number and information about the drug;
  • next, the patient should contact the pharmacy connected to the EHCS and provide the prescription number;
  • the pharmacist will use this number to see exactly what the doctor has prescribed and will be able to distribute the medicine.

These are all mechanisms for effective control of the circulation and release of antibiotics. After all, improper and excessive use of antimicrobials (in particular antibiotics) leads to the development of broad resistance, a mechanism that reduces their effectiveness. The bacteria become resistant to certain drugs, and this gradually makes it difficult or impossible to resist infections.

It is not known exactly how many antimicrobials Ukrainians consume, but there is an analysis of trends. According to it, in 2020, the total volume of all sales and purchases of such drugs exceeded UAH 6.4 billion, which is 40% more than in 2018. Sales of such drugs in pharmacies also increased: from UAH 3.26 billion in 2018 to UAH 4.36 billion in 2020.

Regarding the antibiotics of the reserve group (medicines of the “last hope” that are used to treat extremely severe bacterial infections when other antibiotics have not worked), the situation is also disappointing: the volume of all sales and purchases has more than tripled: from UAH 110.89 million in 2018 to UAH 416.45 million in 2020.

For reference:

The World Health Organization has named the problem of resistance as one of the 10 global threats to public health facing humanity. Experts estimate that by 2050, one death associated with antimicrobial resistance will occur every 3 seconds.