By virtue of establishing effective communications between the experts of the Government of Ukraine, Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the European Business Association Health Care Committee the destabilization of the pharmaceutical market was settled out finally.
On 1 February 2017 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted the amendments to the CMU Resolution “On State Pricing for Medical Drugs” №862 dated 9 November 2016, which postponed the reference pricing for medical drugs till 1 April 2017 – thus, to the date when the reimbursement for the certain medical drugs comes into force to benefit Ukrainian patients.
The major problem occurred due to the absence of the direct legislative provision to confirm the possibility of free circulation of medicines aimed at treatment of cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes and asthma, which were included into the list of the 21 International Non-proprietary Names (INN). The residues of drugs could only be sold out until 1 February 2017 at their current prices. After that date the market entities had no clear and precise rules to perform their activities smoothly and within the legal framework. The situation was aggravated by the verbal statements of the high government officials confirming the impossibility of free circulation of medicines at prices exceeding the calculated limit, added by the similar information on the MOH web. Unfortunately, the wholesale price limit calculation mechanism, which was established via adoption of the Register of Reference Prices, caused numerous distortions. In the majority of cases the calculated prices did not correspond to the realistic prices of the manufacturers for the relevant medicines on the markets of the reference countries and in Ukraine and, in some cases the calculated prices could lead to the monopoly position of some manufacturers producing certain drugs. Under such conditions the manufacturers did not plan to further supply a number of medicines; wholesalers and pharmacies no longer could continue any sales of their residues.
The representatives of the EBA Health Care Committee emphasized the aggravating situation by publishing the letter to Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman and by profoundly explaining the situation during several meetings with Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers Olexandr Saienko and Acting Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine Ulana Suprun.
European Business Association is grateful to the Cabinet of Minister of Ukraine and to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine for the diligent analysis and understanding of the degree of possible negative impact, which could entail treatment interruption for critical groups of patients, decline in their health and the general reduction of pharmaceutical product selection on the Ukrainian market. Certainly, such a situation would not be beneficial for patients.
It is important to remember that today there are less than two months of the extended transition period left to develop a feasible reference pricing and reimbursement mechanism with account of the best European practices and experience. Thus, its accurate implementation would achieve the declared goal – increase of the economic affordability of drugs for patients, with no harm to their physical accessibility.