Safe, Affordable, and Effective Medicines for Ukrainians

Safe, Affordable, and Effective Medicines for Ukrainians

Leading Innovation in Supply Chain

Through our award-winning Safe, Affordable, and Effective Medicines (SAFEMed) for Ukrainians Activity, we helped Ukraine engage a private pharmaceutical logistics company for last-mile distribution of HIV and TB medicines, ensuring it does so with effective stewardship and oversight. What began as a pilot project to close a gap in delivering medicines to a region heavily affected by the HIV and AIDS epidemic, is today scaling up nationwide. 


SAFEMed supports the ongoing efforts of the Government of Ukraine to transform its health care system to effectively meet the needs of its citizens. With support from USAID and PEPFAR, MSH provides technical assistance to strengthen and systematize public procurement of medicines and health commodities, contribute to the creation of sustainable health pharmaceutical financing, and strengthen pharmaceutical management and the supply chain. SAFEMed activities improve access to safe and affordable medicines for the Ukrainian population while supporting decentralization and integration of health services across national and sub-national levels and sectors. 

SAFEMed is also playing an important role in supporting Ukraine’s medical supply chain during the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, ensuring that humanitarian medical supplies reach the people that need them most. 

Our award-winning program has focused its efforts on: 1) strengthening the government’s capacity in implementing procurement reform by developing recommendations for smooth transition of national procurements from international organizations to the National Central Procurement Agency (CPA), and providing technical expertise to the Ministry of Health and CPA to ensure transparency in procurement of medicines and commodities; 2) supporting implementation and continuity of Ukraine’s Affordable Medicines program; 3) expanding Health Technology Assessment (HTA) methodologies for health priority setting and supporting the institutionalization of the HTA department at the State Expert Center; and 4) providing technical support to the government’s response to COVID-19. 

Rebecca Kohler
Rebecca Kohler

 Chief of Party

Project Contact

Rebecca Kohler is the Chief of Party of the MSH-led, USAID-funded project, Safe, Affordable, and Effective Medicines (SAFEMed) for Ukrainians. She brings over 30 years of expertise in global health working in key leadership, management, technical, and advisory positions in the US and around the world. Most recently, she served as Senior Vice President with IntraHealth International, where she was responsible for strategy, business development, advocacy, and partnerships. A seasoned global health practitioner, Kohler brings hands-on experience working on health systems strengthening, health workforce, HIV and AIDS, reproductive health, and maternal and child health programs in more than 30 countries across several continents, including long-term, resident assignments in Tanzania, Kenya, Eritrea, and Armenia. She holds a master’s degree in public health from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and a bachelor’s degree from Duke University.  

Since 2017, SAFEMed has partnered with the Ministry of Health to streamline the governance and management of the pharmaceutical supply chain to ensure reliable and affordable access to lifesaving medicines, particularly to fight HIV and TB. Localization has been at the heart of this alliance, working with the government and a local logistics company to ensure treatments make it to service delivery sites. SAFEMed’s Chief of Party, Rebecca Kohler, discusses lessons learned as the program enters its sixth year.
Health Technology Assessment (HTA) examines health technologies – from medicines and devices to digital technologies and surgical interventions – to determine the value they provide for the resources allocated. Unfortunately, even though there is a higher need for HTA in low resource settings, they usually have weaker HTA functions. From Ukraine, Professor Rabia Kahveci shares three of the most important lessons learned in applying HTA in low- and middle-income countries in her 20-years of experience supporting the integration of HTA into health care reforms. She describes the significant impact it can have in saving money – and lives.

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The United States Agency for International Development