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24 March 2022

A month of war. Is there a medicines shortage in Ukraine?

24 March 2022

General situation

During the war, Ukrainians show our inherent cohesion and cooperation. The Ministry of Public Health, large volunteer and public organizations, the business community and charitable foundations work together to provide the Armed Forces of Ukraine, hospitals and citizens with all the necessary medicines.

Concerning the charity

As of March 14, since the beginning of the Russian invasion, Ukraine received more than 150 tons of humanitarian aid from the World Health Organization. Currently, cargo with medical products devices and equipment has been delivered to the regions of active military operations and to the frontline regions. More and more medical support is coming to Ukraine from international partners. In 15 days since the hostilities  beginning Ukraine has already received from such countries as Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Denmark, France, more than 500 tons of medical products and devices totaling more than UAH 10.4 million. 

National drug manufacturers also support charity. In particular, for 1 month of military aggression, the pharmaceutical company "Darnitsa"  free of charge handed over almost 700 thousand packages of medicines amounting to more than 30 million hryvnias to medical institutions and volunteer organizations . The company also imported  into the country at its own expense, 10 thousand packages of Celox strategic hemostatic agent extremely important for the army and transferred that Celox free of charge to the hospitals, Territorial Defense, and the Armed Forces of Ukraine units.

Legislative regulation

On March 19 the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 314 came into force,; that document provides for simplified business activities in medical practice, wholesale and retail trade with medicines, import of medicines (except for active pharmaceutical ingredients), production of medicines (for business entities holding a valid license for the medicinal products manufacturing) under martial law situation.

The Ministry of Public Health prohibited the use on the Ukrainian territory of 39 medicines which manufacturers and/or registration applicants  have a legal address and/or the business facilities address in the Republic of Belarus.

Hospitals and pharmacies

Since the beginning of its full-scale invasion, the Russian army has shelled 43 ambulances and 135 hospitals. Currently, 9 Ukrainian hospitals have been completely destroyed and can never be restored, as  Viktor Lyashko said during a briefing. Despite the difficult economic situation in the country since the Russian Federation hostilities outbreak, our healthcare institutions receive uninterrupted financing

The StateMedService Derzhliksluzhba reports that as of March 17, in the country 10,530 pharmacies are operating. Before the war, this figure was 22,780 pharmacies. The StateMedService and the Ministry of Public Health work together to establish their normal activities, simplify staff requirements, and help attract volunteers. And if in the first days of the war about 10% of pharmacies were opened, now the situation has improved and almost 50% of pharmacies are functioning. The pharmacies' non-operation is due to various circumstances: physical destruction, lack of pharmacists due to relocation, etc. Pharmaceutical company "Darnitsa" is looking for pharmacists ready to work in pharmacies of partner chains. The Company shows by its own example how to help: more than 50 employees of the company holding pharmacists diplomas now work in pharmacies on a volunteer basis.

About the deficit

The StateMedService emphasizes that now there is no threat of a shortage with medicines. There is a problem in the active hostilities hot spots but the state aimes all efforts at providing humanitarian convoys to those locations. In certain regions, due to increased demand, the number of orders for medicines increases accordingly. Suppliers and manufacturers independently regulate logistics and order service issues. Most importers have resumed their operation. National producers, in particular the largest in Ukraine* drug-in-kind manufacturer , the pharmaceutical company "Darnitsa",  uninterruptedly operates since the first day of the war.

Although there is still a high demand for certain types of medicines, the pharmacies are operating, logistics are being improved, queues are being reduced, and the products range is increasing. 

No grounds to panic.  The Ministry of Public Health, the StateMedService, Ukrainian manufacturers of medicines and pharmacies take all necessary measures to prevent a shortage with medicines.

*according to Proxima Research 2021-2022


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