Safe, Affordable, and Effective Medicines for Ukrainians

Project Overview

Ukraine has the second largest HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and one of the highest burdens of multi-drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) in the world. The country also has the highest mortality rate from infectious diseases in the WHO/Euro region, with TB, HIV, and AIDS accounting for 90% of all deaths.

Compounding these crises, Ukraine inherited a centralized, inflated, and underfunded health care system from the former Soviet Union. That meant affordable medicines were out of reach for many people, as well as the medicines essential to treating these diseases.

Begun in 2017, this five-year, USAID-funded project supports reforms in managing medicines through strengthening pharmaceutical sector governance, optimizing pharmaceutical sector finance, and supporting improved availability and use of essential medicines.

SAFEMed will implement a health systems approach to improving access to and use of appropriate quality medicines in collaboration with the Government of Ukraine, civil society organizations, other implementing partners, and the private sector. The project builds on MSH’s experience in the Ukraine through the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program and its support for the country’s health reforms.

Activities include:

  • Building the capacity of the newly established Essential Medicines List Committee to support transparent, sustainable medicines selection and guide other decision making 
  • Supporting implementation of financial reimbursement of essential medicines through a guaranteed benefits package; the project will advise on management structures, including providing legal revisions and updates to the system’s framework and creating indicators to monitor reimbursements
  • Integrating pharmaceutical management components of electronic information systems as part of the MOH’s overarching eHealth initiative
  • Strengthening rational pharmaceutical management, enabling transparent procurement, and introducing innovative and tested approaches to improving supply chain management

Project Team