Monday, July 15, 2024

Healthcare Spending and Market Access in Ukraine Amidst the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

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Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, significant priorities have been set by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, who has adopted two budgets that have increased healthcare spending. The 2024 budget emphasized the need for reimbursed medicines in war zones, particularly for treating mental and behavioral disorders.

With healthcare spending and emergency measures being established under martial law, GlobalData compares how market access in Ukraine has changed during the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Factors considered include the number of newly launched products in the Ukrainian market, annual price trends, and the impact of the invasion on the launch sequence of medicines for Ukraine and Russia.

Between 2018 and 2020, the number of newly launched branded medicines in Ukraine followed a downward trajectory, with a 44% decline in new medicines. This trend shifted in 2021 after the Ministry of Health (MoH) developed the “National Cancer Control Strategy until 2030,” which expanded the list of services for diagnosing and treating cancer under the medical guarantees program. An influx of innovative medicines, particularly oncology products (65), launched onto the Ukrainian market, representing a peak across the five years (2018–2023). The National Cancer Control Strategy until 2030 was then suspended once the war broke out.

Ukraine Maintains Market Entry for New Medicines Amid War, Sees Upward Price Trends Since 2022

While it would be expected that the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war could delay the entry of new medicines in Ukraine, it appears the volume of drugs entering the market, although decreased, has not dropped below the volumes seen prior to the invasion. For 2022 and 2023, the number of branded products entering the market remained relatively stable at the same level seen in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. This stability was likely due to the Ukrainian MoH streamlining and adding flexibility to the process of submitting papers for the partial or full reimbursement of medicines, demonstrating a commitment to continuing the approval and reimbursement process while under martial law.

Since 2022, Ukraine has seen an upward trend in price increases per year. The average yearly price trend for branded medicines in Ukraine between 2018 and 2024 shows significant changes. Branded products saw a significant average price increase (39%) in 2019 compared to prices in 2018, followed by a stabilization of price increases the following year. The average yearly price trend (2019–2020) suggests only minimal changes in prices for branded medicines, with an average price increase of only 1%. This trend did not vary during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Healthcare Spending


Healthcare Spending and Rising Drug Prices in Ukraine Amid War: Market Access Efforts

From 2022 onwards, prices of branded medicines steadily started to increase, with the average yearly price change for 2023 to the start of 2024 reaching a peak (10%) since the war started. Fluctuations in these price trends could have been more devastating, but a combination of delaying new outpatient reimbursement prices until July 2022 and a commitment to continue price monitoring under martial law, alongside minor international reference pricing (IRP) adjustments for reimbursable outpatient medicines, helped prevent extreme price hikes during the war.

Drug prices have still markedly increased in Ukraine since the Russian invasion, influenced by factors such as a drop in the exchange rate for the Ukrainian hryvnia versus the dollar and the euro, increased fuel costs, and complications in import logistics. Factors considered in assessing market access include the number of newly launched products in the Ukrainian market and the impact the invasion has had on the launch sequence of medicines for Ukraine and Russia. Despite the challenges posed by the war, the Ukrainian MoH’s efforts in streamlining processes and adding flexibility have ensured that the market entry of new medicines remains relatively unaffected compared to pre-invasion levels.

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The commitment to healthcare spending under martial law and the streamlined processes for medicine approval and reimbursement reflect a resilient market adapting to wartime conditions. As Ukraine navigates the complexities of market access during the ongoing conflict, the healthcare system’s ability to maintain a steady flow of new medicines and manage price fluctuations will be crucial for ensuring the availability of essential treatments for the population.


Resource: Pharmaceutical Technology, June 07, 2024

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