Kyiv, December 14, 2020 - The state funds only 12% of total expenditures on medicines. This is the lowest rate among some countries in Eastern Europe, where it averages about 70%. These are the findings of a new study "Spendings on healthcare and access to treatment" conducted by experts from the Kyiv School of Economics and IQVIA at the initiative of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine and the Association of Innovative Medicines Manufacturers.
For innovative treatment in Ukraine, the state spends 17% of the State budget expenditures allocated for the procurement of medicines, which is the lowest rate among the reference countries, where such expenditures average 60%. At the same time, Ukraine spent 35% of allocated funds on uncategorized medicines (dietary supplements, vitamins, traditional and herbal medicines) and on drugs without proven effectiveness, which is significantly more than in the reference countries. There are also no rules in Ukraine regulating the price of generics, for which 48% of the total funds for medicines were allocated.
"In addition to the fact that in Ukraine the amount of state budget expenditures allocated for the procurement of medicines is much lower than in neighboring countries, the allocated funds are used inefficiently, which negatively affects the overall level of health care in Ukraine," said Andriy Kovalyov, Head of consulting projects of the Kyiv School of Economics.
The availability of innovative treatments has a direct impact on the general health of the population, as evidenced by the experience of neighboring countries. Free access to modern and effective medicines can improve the basic indicators of the quality of functioning of the health care system, which in Ukraine are the lowest in comparison with the reference countries.
According to the World Bank, in Ukraine the average life expectancy for men is 67 years, while in Poland - 74 years. And the mortality rate of children under 1 year in Ukraine is the highest among Eastern European countries - 7.5 per 1,000 newborns.
Funding for access to innovative treatment can be provided within the existing budget through redistribution of costs in accordance with the recommendations proposed in the study.
“The study is a list of effective tools for responsible public authorities that will help expand access to quality innovative treatment for patients. The experts of the Chamber's member companies are ready to provide professional support so that the necessary changes can take effect in Ukraine as soon as possible, ”added Andy Hunder, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine.
The study also found that Ukraine had the lowest health care costs compared to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia. This figure is up to 3.6% of GDP, while in Latvia - from 5.9%, and in the Czech Republic - 7.5%.
According to data for 2019, in Ukraine the state expenditure on medicines per person amounted to 9 euros, while in Poland - 115 euros, and in Slovakia - 243 euros.
“All stakeholders must take a number of measures to improve the situation with access to quality innovative treatment in our country. The experience of the reference countries shows what steps need to be taken and, most importantly, how this affects the key indicators of the health care system. Because investments in health have a direct impact on the further development of the state and its economic well-being, "said Vitaliy Gordienko, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Innovative Medicines Manufacturers (APRaD).
Every year, Ukraine can save up to 40% of the expenditures provided by the State Budget for medicines - this is about 4.3 billion of the corresponding cost item of the State Budget 2020, allocated for medicines. This can be done through a set of tools to be implemented at the state level: to introduce generic pricing policies, widespread use of controlled access agreements and control over the prescribing of medicines. It is also important to fully implement the assessment of medical technology, co-payment procedure and external pricing.
The presentation of the study can be found here.
The full version of the study in English can be found here.