17:31 12.06.2023

Sanofi pharma's humanitarian aid to Ukraine is almost UAH 1.5 bln since beginning of war

5 min read
Sanofi pharma's humanitarian aid to Ukraine is almost UAH 1.5 bln since beginning of war

The humanitarian efforts of the pharmaceutical company Sanofi in support of Ukraine in the form of medicines, cash aid and charitable financial contributions from employees since the beginning of the full-scale invasion amounted to almost UAH 1.5 billion.

The company told Interfax-Ukraine, since the first days of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Sanofi has been promptly coordinating the provision of humanitarian assistance with vital medicines and vaccines to patients in Ukraine and those who were forced to go abroad due to the war. In particular, in the form of assistance, the company provided about 37 million doses of medicines for Ukrainian patients with a total value of over EUR 34.4 million.

Sanofi, in particular, provided patients with insulin, cardiovascular, antiepileptic and oncological medicines, as well as the medicines for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, orphan diseases and for emergency care in 2022. In addition, in 2022, Sanofi joined the initiative of the European Health Committee in support of Ukraine and donated 200,000 doses of diphtheria and tetanus vaccines, and in the 2022 and 2023 epidemic season, Sanofi will provide free 163,000 doses of influenza vaccine of its own production for Ukrainian doctors and representatives of other professions at risk.

In 2022, Sanofi did not raise prices for its medicines, which allowed the company to support patients and consumers as much as possible, who already find themselves in difficult economic conditions caused by Russian aggression.

The company said if at the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the company provided assistance in response to specific requests from hospitals and hospitals, then since the middle of 2022 the approach has changed with the active involvement of the Health Ministry in the process.

"By that time, the Health Ministry had already adapted to turbulence, successfully adjusted the process of processing information about current needs for medicines and had all the necessary logistics solutions to effectively meet the needs of individual hospitals and regions," the company said.

As part of this cooperation, in late 2022, Sanofi supplied the Health Ministry with a large amount of an original anticoagulant medicines, which, in particular, the military needs in the pre- and postoperative period, a drug for the treatment of arterial hypertension, some 17,200 packages of a hepatoprotector in ampoules and other preparations.

Sanofi said at the beginning of 2023, the company started a new stage of supporting Ukrainian patients, in particular, in terms of supplying oncological medicines to Ukraine. "Last winter, there were logistical difficulties with oncological medicines, so the Health Ministry turned to various partners with a request to help in this matter. Sanofi was one of the companies that immediately responded to this request by delivering the Oxaliplatin anticancer medicine to Ukraine. The whole process is from the request of the Health Ministry before shipment to the hospital lasted four weeks. This is an unrealistically fast time, and we are proud that we were able to help patients at such a critical moment," the company said.

In addition, in 2023, Sanofi is considering the possibility of supplying a number of more expensive cancer medicines, as well as continuing the humanitarian program to provide free of charge the innovative medicine Alemtuzumab for the treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis.

Commenting on Sanofi's humanitarian efforts, Oleksandr Nosonovych, director of the company in Ukraine, said the pharmaceutical industry was among the most demanded industries, which is logically connected with the increased needs of the population for access to healthcare in wartime.

"First of all, we were and are being contacted for medicines, although our support was not limited to this. In the early days of the war, our employees not only accepted requests for help from individual doctors and hospitals, but in most cases were both drivers and volunteers, and accountants who personally supplied medicines for free to the places of request and prepared reports," he said.

Nosonovych drew attention to the fact that "medicine donations a year ago and donations now are completely different things."

"If earlier we received huge lists with dozens of items: from alcohol and brilliant greens to innovative highly targeted medicines, now donations meet the specific needs of the health system and are focused on manufacturers – these are point requests that are really needed for a particular situation, medicines, or those that are problematic buy or supply to the country on their own," he said.

Commenting on humanitarian efforts, Nosonovych said international charitable foundations and pharmaceutical manufacturers, incurring all the costs of medicines, usually buy everything they need abroad, where the money remains. But this situation may put pressure on pharmaceutical companies that continue to operate in the country and plan their operations in Ukraine.

"There must be a balance in everything, donations will not last forever. Therefore, the government and manufacturers should already look for new options for cooperation. We need to build a healthy chain so that it is expedient to produce and supply medicines to Ukraine, pay salaries and taxes, and keep the money in the country and worked for the economy of our country," he said.

"The government is now carefully planning the budget for healthcare and developing new mechanisms for providing patients with medicines. In some cases, these can be managed entry agreements (long-term procurement programs at special prices from the manufacturer), which are already beginning to be successfully implemented in Ukraine. This will be a win-win partnership," the director of Sanofi in Ukraine said.