Business news from Ukraine

Doctors and pharmacists call for strengthening fight against illegitimate advertising of fake drugs using leading medical brands

Doctors and pharmaceutical manufacturers demand to strengthen the fight against illegitimate advertising of fake medicines on the Internet using well-known brands and faces of leading experts in the medical industry.

As Doctor of Medical Sciences, Director of the Heart Institute of the Ministry of Health Borys Todurov emphasized at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday, fraudulent advertising on the Ukrainian pharmaceutical market can claim hundreds and thousands of lives. As an example of this, he cited the fact that, in particular, fake drugs are often advertised on the Internet in his name.

“On the Internet, on Facebook, drugs are offered in my name that we allegedly develop. Don’t believe that this is so – we do not take part in the development of new drugs. We perform operations, we only engage in surgery,” he said.

Todurov noted that every day he responds to many messages regarding fake drugs that he is allegedly developing, and there are “dozens” of such drugs. One of the latest such fake drugs that is sold online in his name is Normocardis.

Todurov noted that he had already contacted law enforcement agencies with statements about precedents, and that the cyber police had already opened a criminal case into the use of his name and the names of his colleagues.

“It is very difficult to track such scammers, they are often located abroad. But I think that it is possible to find and catch at least those people who distribute fake drugs in Ukraine – they have telephone numbers, a specific address, they can be tracked,” the director of the Heart Institute said.

Todurov noted that advertisements for fake drugs are often created using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, which make it possible to create believable videos using the images and voices of specific famous doctors.

In turn, Honored Doctor of Ukraine, director and founder of the medical center Clinic of Dr. Valikhnovsky Rostyslav Valikhnovsky said that on his behalf there were recorded cases of distribution of at least eight drugs and dietary supplements that supposedly treat joints, varicose veins, heart, and rheumatic diseases.

“This has absolutely nothing to do with reality. I want to put it on record that this is not true and our brand has nothing to do with these drugs,” he said.

Valikhnovsky noted that the clinic also contacted the cyber police in Kyiv, and law enforcement agencies managed to block sites that posted such information in one day. However, he noted that it was not possible to solve this problem with Facebook.

“With Facebook it is very difficult to solve this problem during the war, so with this press conference I would like to appeal to the Minister of the Interior, the Prosecutor General, so that they take this problem under personal control,” he said.

Valikhnovsky noted that “if nothing is done now at the beginning of the development of AI, then later we will not be able to correct anything.”

At the same time, he emphasized that clinics and doctors without law enforcement agencies cannot independently identify fraudsters and fight them.

For his part, head of the Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of Ukraine Petro Bahriy clarified that in war conditions it is quite difficult to estimate the volume of the market for such fake drugs, including due to the ban on inspections.

“We cannot accurately estimate the volume of such a market, especially during the war. But we are interested in the Ukrainian pharmaceutical market being transparent, so that the promotion of medicines is legal, because we know about the responsibility for people’s health,” he said.

Bahriy noted that the Association was one of the initiators of introducing criminal liability for false advertising and the production and distribution of fake drugs.

“I support my colleagues and appeal to law enforcement agencies and everyone who can help overcome this shameful phenomenon and stop these scammers who today, using well-known brands of doctors, promote in their name fake drugs that harm health and even kill,” he said.

Bahriy also emphasized that leading domestic pharmaceutical companies are constantly developing R&D, developing new drugs according to international standards of evidence-based effectiveness, safety and quality, investing significant funds in this area.

“Fake drugs sold online in this way harm people’s health, but also harm the economy, because fraudsters, unlike pharmaceutical manufacturers, do not pay taxes, do not create jobs, and do not invest in the development of their brand and the country’s economy. The business of these scammers harms everyone, and law enforcement officials must solve this problem,” he concluded.

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Spain donates medicines and surgical instruments to Ukraine for field hospital

At the 17th meeting of the Contact Group on Defense of Ukraine (Ramstein), Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles reported on the recent shipment of aid to Ukraine, including medicines and surgical instruments.

According to the press service of the Ministry of Defense, Robles informed about the recent shipment of 15 pallets of medicines and surgical instruments to Ukraine, which will ensure the operation of the field hospital transferred by Spain a few months ago.

“The minister also reported on the cooperation of Spanish industry in supplying equipment and ammunition to Ukraine and spoke in detail about the program to support the reception of families of Ukrainian soldiers killed in action in military recreation centers on the Spanish coast,” the statement said.

Robles noted good progress in the training of the Ukrainian military in Spain, where more than 3,000 servicemen have been trained to date. She added that it is planned to teach training courses on the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law for representatives of the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

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“Medical Procurement of Ukraine delivered 94% of medical products purchased in 2022 to hospitals

The state-owned enterprise Medical Procurement of Ukraine (MPU) has delivered to hospitals 94% of the medical products purchased in 2022 for a total of UAH 5.1 billion.
According to the press release of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine, more than 98% of the medical supplies procured in 2022 have been delivered to the warehouse of the state-owned enterprise.
“We deliver medicines almost every day, so we are able to quickly meet the needs of healthcare facilities when they arise,” the Ministry of Health clarified.
In addition, the Ministry of Health continues to deliver goods procured for the 2023 budget. So far, the goods purchased for the 2023 budget have been delivered to hospitals in the amount of over UAH 1.4 billion.

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Israel has sent Ukraine medicines for AFU worth 100m hryvnyas

The Israeli Health Ministry has sent medicines totaling UAH 100 million to Ukraine as humanitarian aid at the request of the AFU, the Ukrainian Health Ministry said.

“We continue to help Ukraine in this difficult time, so at the request of the Ukrainian side, funds were collected and the transfer of humanitarian aid was organized. We plan further cooperation between our countries,” the agency’s website quoted Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky as saying.

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Israel to send several tons of medicines to Ukraine

Israel will send several tons of medicines to Ukraine in the coming days at the request of the Ukrainian side, Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky said.

“Today there was a conversation between the health ministers of Israel and Ukraine. In the coming days, at the request of the Ukrainian side, Israel will send several tons of medicines to Ukraine,” Brodsky wrote in his Telegram channel on Monday.


IC INGO notes recovery of demand for medicines and diagnostic services

In the second quarter of 2023 there is a noticeable recovery in the number of provided medicines after a decline in the winter period, which indicates a continuing trend of their increase compared to previous years, according to the press release of the insurance company “INGO” (Kiev).

It is also noted that the analysis of the popularity of services showed a continued increased demand for diagnostics since September 2022. At the same time consultations of doctors remain at a stable level without significant changes.

The other groups of services, although accounting for less than 20% of the total, do not show pronounced changes, with the exception of medical examinations, the demand for which has doubled in recent months compared to the preliminary figures.

According to the report, for the provision of medical services to its clients in the second quarter of 2023 paid UAH 110 million. The amount of payments for accident insurance programs has also increased.

According to the information of the Department of personal types of insurance, the average number of customer contacts is kept at a fairly high level – about 1.5 thousand contacts daily, but a little less than in the winter-spring period.

JSC INGO Insurance Company has more than 25 years of experience in the market. Since 2017, the main shareholder of the company is the Ukrainian business group DCH of Oleksandr Iaroslavskyi.

The company has 29 licenses for various types of compulsory and voluntary insurance, provides insurance services to corporate and retail clients.

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