“Last month we approached the Prime minister of Ukraine with the appeal to prevent the catastrophe of no medications for 30 thousand HIV people, – says Dmytro Sherembey, Chairman of CF “Patients of Ukraine”. – Despite the promises the government has still not solved the problem!!! Ukrainians who had to receive medicines will be left with no treatment”.
Last month the activists and HIV positive people held an action in front of the Cabinet of Ministers. They set up a symbolic cemetery. The activists demanded to solve the issue with the company “Vector Pharma”/“Phiolis”. The company was obliged to supply patients with medicines, but did not do it. “Vector Pharma”/ “Phiolis” has received 100% prepayment from the State at the end of December of 2014. It had not delivered any medications which were paid for in advance.
“We warned the Minister of Health Alexander Kvitashvili about the potential catastrophe a few months before it became clear that the company will not supply patients with drugs, – states Vitaliy Shabunin, Head of the Board of the Anti-Corruption Action Centre. – However MoH did not solve the problem and hence the company did not deliver medicines”, – adds Vitaliy
At the last meeting of the Government the Minister of Health Alexander Kvitashvili ignored the situation with the medicines for so many terminally ill Ukrainians who will die without treatment. The Minister reported that the problem was solved as the company “Vector Pharma”/ “Phiolis” yet supplied 8% of the necessary medicines stated in the contract.
“This is a total disaster, which we didn’t have in Ukraine since 2003, when the first programs of HIV/AIDS treatment just started – says Volodymyr Zhovtyak, chairman of All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS. – The problem has not been solved, in fact, it has worsened. Through our savings we managed to compensate the lack of medications for our patients for 1.5–2 months. But since the end of July patients who are on government treatment and those who are provided with treatment by our organization through support of the Global Fund will remain without drugs at all, if the situation with “Vector Pharma” is not resolved, – adds Volodymyr Zhovtyak.
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At the end of 2015 HIV/AIDS treatment in Ukraine should be received by 64,194 patients provided by budget funds and by 18,406 patients provided by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. By 01/01/2015, 51,754 patients are treated for the state budget and the medicines procured by the Ministry of Health. 14,573 patients are provided with treatment through the support of the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
It should be noted that the antiretroviral therapy treatment can provide long and complete life, ability to have healthy children for HIV positive people. A patient who receives antiretroviral therapy cannot infect other people, which is why providing patients with this treatment is the best way to combat the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Around the world antiretroviral therapy cannot be sold in pharmacies thus people can get treatment only in public institutions. That is, in case if delivery of state-funded treatment in medical institutions and AIDS centers fails, patients with this diagnosis are doomed to death.