Free medicines: when, and will there be enough for all

From 1 April the Ministry of health has launched a reimbursement. Compensation of the cost of drugs earned for the three groups of patients. The program includes asthmatics, diabetics are second class and suffering from cardiovascular disease. The state covers drugs from the registry office. However, since the beginning of the month, the project earned. According to experts, while free medicines “on paper”, and the actual reimbursement of drugs will start late. The website “Today” I learned why pharmacies do not affordable medicines.

The reimbursement delay

While the reimbursement does not work, say experts of the pharmaceutical market. The government on April 4 published a registry of free medication. Pharmacies will need a few days to purchase drugs. Plus it takes time for the conclusion of contracts with local authorities. In the end, the project will be not before 10 APR.

The Ministry has done a lot of robots, but because of the detail the program failed to run on time, said the Director of Pharmacy professional Association of Ukraine Volodymyr Rudenko.

“Members of our Association, more than 25% of the retail market want to participate. But there is no information with whom to sign treaties. There are minor flaws that hamper the launch of the project, but it will work necessarily,” – said the head of the pharmacy Association.

Even after settling all the shortcomings of the reimbursement will join, not all pharmacies. The pharmaceutical business will take a wait and see position, predicts the Executive Director of “Patients of Ukraine” Olga Stefanyshyna. Once businesses see that the government compensates the cost of drugs in time, the programme will participate and private pharmacies.

Free medicines can not enough at all

The Ministry of health does not know the number of patients with asthma, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. How much money is needed for reimbursement of cost of medicines, is impossible to calculate. A registry of patients will begin to create in the country in may. For the program “Affordable medicine” the government in 2017 has allocated 500 million hryvnia. According to analysts ‘ estimates, the program need 1,3-1,5 billion UAH, said the Director of Pharmacy professional Association of Ukraine Volodymyr Rudenko. In the calculations in the Cabinet promise to add funding in the fall.

Financing of the state program may not be enough for all patients. Photo: Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

The Ministry of health in 2012 and 2014 have already launched compensation for hypertensives and diabetics. Pharmacists free of charge released medicines, but the money in the budget for the project quickly ended. Pharmacists still no offset of losses.

“In Ukraine was not yet a full reimbursement because of the lack of Finance. Covering the cost of drugs can be realized only if proper provision” – says Rudenko.

Past experience discourages private pharmacies from participation in the program, the head chemist of the Association Dmitry Slyunkov. According to him, in 2012 free dispense drugs within pharmacy.

“Reimbursement in Ukraine, but for entrepreneurs this is a burden and a risk. Time from the issuance of medicines to the reimbursement will take approximately 20 days. In fact, at this period, the business subsidizes the budget”, – said the expert of the pharmaceutical market.

Since the program is voluntary, it is likely that pharmacies will adhere to it reluctantly. However, it will not be able to ignore the hospital and community pharmacy – they are more social responsibility. The Ministry promises to publish on its website a list of all pharmacies that participate in the “Affordable drugs”.

This time to the pharmacy remained in losses, the Ministry of health gave pharmacists the right to terminate the contracts with the local authorities, if the compensation will not be more than 30 days.

How to obtain free medicines

On the doors of pharmacies that will participate in the state program, will stickers “Dostupn LCI. Governmental program”. But to get the cure for free, the essential medical prescription on a special form. The doctor will not indicate the name and active substance. And the pharmacy will give the cheapest drug. If the patient decides to purchase the more expensive medication, he can pay only the difference in their value. The recipe will be valid for 30 days, without it, the drug will have to pay in full. In the absence of medication, it can be bought at another pharmacy or wait until.

A list of pharmacies that join the program will be published on the website of the Ministry of health. Photo: Ministry Of Health

Reimbursement of cost of medicine only applies to cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and asthma. According to the Ministry of health, these diseases – the main cause of mortality in Ukraine.

“Mortality from cardiovascular diseases accounts for 65% of deaths in Ukraine. According to statistics for the year 2015, with type II diabetes suffers one million people. This is six times more than type I diabetes (insulin dependent). Patients with bronchial asthma was 210 thousand mostly children and young people”, – noted in the Ministry of health.