27 April 2018 - The Ministry of Health of Ukraine (MoH) signed agreements with international organizations for procurement of medicines and healthcare products for the 2018 state budget. This would allow international organizations to announce the first tenders soon.

Systemic reforms cannot be fast. It took time to streamline the procurement process,” highlighted Ulana Suprun, Acting Minister of Health, “But in meanwhile, the modality of international procurement confirmed its economic efficiency and allowed us to provide treatment to more patients. Every year we see improvements in the procurement schedule, as this process is getting faster”.

This year procurement will cover 40 components of the national action plan for the total budgete of UAH 5.9 billion. Procurement of medicines for Ukraine will be implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the UK procurement agency Crown Agents. The MoH has already been collaborating with these institutions in the field of procurement in the past.

All organizations are selected pursuant to the law and have extensive experience in the field of medical procurement. Thus, UNICEF operates in 190 countries and is a recognized leader in vaccine procurement worldwide. UNDP operates in 170 countries helping to promote sustainable development and poverty alleviation. Crown Agents operates in over 100 countries and has 185 years of experience in international procurement.

Successful experience of cooperation with international organizations on the procurement of medicines has proved that we are heading to the right direction. However, we continue to work on improving the procurement system. This year we have finetuned the agreements based on recommendations of the Accounting Chamber,” reported Deputy Minister of Health Olha Stefanyshyna.

In particular, the agreements specify the timing of tender procedures of international organizations. It means that the Ministry of Health endorses the time necessary for the announcement and tendering, evaluation of the proposals, etc., at the stage of signing an agreement with the respective international organizations.

In addition, the new version of agreement changes the terms of payment and introduces phased payment for each program. From now on, the Ministry will pay for medicines at the stage of signing contracts between international organizations and suppliers of medicines. Cost estimates will also include information on the timing of medicine supply.

The MoH started procuring medicines through international organizations back in 2015. It helped to provide more patients with quality medicines. In addition, the Accounting Chamber confirms that cooperation with international organizations made it possible to save up to 40% of the state budget allocated for medicine procurement.

We are seeing a noteworthy progress in the Ministry’s efforts to organize international procurement. I believe that our cooperation keeps strengthening. Signing of this agreement in April is a great news,” underlined Jan Thomas Hiemstra, UNDP Country Director in Ukraine, “We also welcome the work of the Ministry of Health in reforming the national procurement system and setting up the Ukrainian procurement agency as part of this process.

It is great to observe how the procurement system in Ukraine gradually gets improved through the transparent process in line with international standards,” said Christine Jackson, Senior Procurement Consultant at Crown Agents, “Such changes make the procurement more efficient. Thus, real needs for essential medicines and medical products is better satisfied, and more Ukrainians receive quality, innovative and timely treatment.

UNICEF welcomes the opportunity to continue supporting the Ministry of Health through the procurement of life-saving vaccines and antiretroviral drugs to ensure reliable protection against infectious diseases for children and adults in Ukraine and access to continuous treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS. UNICEF will keep providing technical support to the government to create an effective and transparent national procurement system,” claimedGiovanna Barberis, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine.