Andrey Rylkov Foundation
for Health and Social Justice

About 800 substitution therapy patients may become the first refugees from the Crimea!

As of today the stock of medicines for opioid substitution therapy (OST) available on the peninsula, i.e. methadone and buprenorphine, is sufficient for several weeks only. In Sevastopol the situation is the most critical, as OST sites in this city were compelled to start decreasing patients’ dosage. As you know, OST and medicines for it are prohibited in Russian Federation, thus these drugs may be supplied only from the inland part of Ukraine. Since all the highways to the Crimea are now being blocked by armed men, medicines supply is impossible (each batch of the narcotic drugs must be attended by an armed police squad).

In the Crimea OST has been implemented for 9 years already, almost 800 drug dependent patients daily receive the respective treatment on the basis of local healthcare facilities in Simferopol, Sevastopol, Yalta, Eupatoria, Feodosia, Kerch and other cities. Depriving the patients of this life-saving treatment could cause a social outburst. OST termination in the Crimea due to the medicines stock depletion and therapy provision discontinuation can make hundreds of patients and their families to flee from the peninsula.

Yesterday ICF “International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine” officially appealed to the Crimean government with the request to promptly settle this serious issue. Being an international non-governmental organization, the Alliance is ready to act as an intermediary between the authorized bodies of Ukraine and the Crimea in order to provide as soon as possible a humanitarian supply of medicines to cover OST needs for the next 6 months.

We call on the representatives of the new Crimean government to prevent adverse consequences, demonstrate humanism and instantly start organizing the medicines supply!


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