On March 1, 2013 the Law of Ukraine on drugs import licensing № 5038-VI comes into force, which will paralyze the importation of foreign drugs to Ukraine. According to the Law, starting from spring all foreign drugs should have Ukrainian license to be brought on the territory of Ukraine. Additional quality certificate from the Ukrainian laboratories will be required, which will cost nearly 30 000 UAH for each series.
"Now the Government has meetings on Saturdays and discussions how to impose this law on the Ukrainian people. And at the same time, people are dying due to lack of medicines in their homes – because officials did not provide these medicines for them, – says Dmytro Sherembey, Chair of Patient Organization UCAB. – Stop imitating your caring for people. If Mr. Azarov really wished to help patients, he would never have approved castrated Budget-2013, which has treatment gap for 5 million terminally-ill Ukrainians".
As a result of this law, antibiotics for children, drugs for the elderly: hypertension, cardiac, and the worst – the life-saving drugs for terminally ill Ukrainians: oncology, hemophilia and AIDS will disappear from pharmacies and hospital shelves starting from March. All Ukrainians who have fatal diseases will be condemned to death. Those drugs that remain on the market, will be twice more expensive.
«There are 650 seriously ill kids at "OKHMATDYT" Hospital now, most of them take imported drugs. For example, 90% of imported drugs for kids with cancer don’t have local generics. – says Hanna Hopko, the member of the Board of Trustees in "OHMADYT." Hospital. – The authors of this lobbying Law didn’t tell us how those drugs will be substituted. Neither they inform, who will compensate the price difference, when this Law steps into force. That’s why the majority of problems will be put on patients’ families and philanthropists».
Foreign drugs constitute the vast majority of treatment for serious illnesses in Ukraine: 100% for diabetes in children and pregnant women, 97% – kids’ oncology and oncohematology, 80% – adult oncology and oncohematology; pulmonology – 100% anesthesia – 98%; HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis – 97%.
Everyone from Ukrainian TV stars to housewives stretched in the line for drugs for several hundred meters along Shovkovychna Street: "I have 2 kids, for whom several times a year I buy drugs for indigestion, dysbiosis, antibiotics sometimes– says Olga, the mother of 2 small children, standing in line with her. – Together with my husband we have counted that on average treatment for cold, which often affects children, we spend about 1 000 UAH. Thus, we decided to stock up with various drugs from throat and antibiotics, because if they disappear, we will be made to buy Ukrainian pills for our children intended for adults, and split them into 5 pieces to calculate the dose, as Ukraine is no Ukrainian production of antibiotics" .
"This law is a primitive scheme of monopolizing Ukrainian pharmaceutical market with the sole purpose – to gain profit at the expense of Ukrainian patients. – Says Vitaliy Shabunin, the Chair of "Antiсorruption Action Center" NGO. – Arguments about improving the quality control of drugs are false: according to the existing regulations, the same drug passes already quality control three times in Ukraine."
The Verkhovna Rada has registered the Law number 2196 on the abolition of this Law, as there is no another legal way to cancel it.
«The Laws for the patients should be drafted together with the patients. – says Volodymyr Zhovtyak, the Head of the All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH. – We demand on its abolishment and drafting the new one, where both the interests of the State and the patients will be taken into account”.
In addition, the patients and NGOs appealed to the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych calling him for solving this problem, as he is the one who can prevent medical disaster in Ukraine. Publicappeal, signed by a couple of thousands Ukrainian activists was transferred to the Presidential Administration just after the action.
The All-Ukrainian action "Lining up for life" was supported by the patients and activists in 10 cities of Ukraine.