It is with huge dismay that we have seen events in Ukraine unfold over the past 11 days. It is FIP’s custom to reach out to our member organisations in times of tragedy and upon the invasion of Ukraine, FIP contacted the All-Ukrainian Pharmaceutical Chamber.
As you will know, FIP has long supported the pharmacy profession in humanitarian work. You will also know that, as healthcare professionals, pharmacists have an ethical duty and responsibility of providing aid to others in disaster situations. And I remind all our members of FIP’s Statement of Policy on the role of the pharmacist in the management of disasters, be they natural or man-made, war, civil disorder or pandemics.
FIP responds to direct requests from its members in line with our vision of a world where everyone benefits from access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and health technologies, as well as from pharmaceutical care services provided by pharmacists, in collaboration with other healthcare professionals.
In recent years, we have given support of differing kinds to colleagues in need (for example in Afghanistan and Lebanon) in response to their requests, and we will continue to do so. Now we are acting on a request from The All-Ukrainian Pharmaceutical Chamber to organise humanitarian aid.
I do not think I need to describe the devastation and loss that has already occurred and that will occur in days to come. We know that medical supplies are needed; we know that there are disruptions to the supply chain; we know that there will be many more casualties and displaced people.
FIP has been in contact with various groups in order to bring about a concerted effort to provide support to our colleagues in Ukraine and maintain access to pharmaceutical care for its people. FIP’s observer organisation the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU), for example, is working with the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations and with EU stakeholders of the pharmaceutical supply chain to organise donations. However, we have been told that pharmaceutical companies are awaiting guidance regarding logistics from the European Commission and, as of 2 March, only parallel traders have managed to send in some products from a warehouse in Romania.
What you can do
We are now calling on the European pharmacy family to be ready to offer aid. We will provide updates on the situation as soon as possible. FIP does not wish to duplicate the work of the PGEU, and we advise all PGEU members to follow PGEU guidance.
We have also obtained a list, developed by The Ukraine Ministry of Health, of medical products that are needed and non-EU members wishing to make donations may contact Oleksii Iaremenko, Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine for European Integration, who is coordinating the receipt of humanitarian goods (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
However, according to aid organisations, monetary donations are currently the best way to help. FIP has set up a fund. Click HERE to make a donation by Paypal or debit/credit card. Monetary donations can also be made by bank transfer:
Account number: NL17RABO0347139760
Bank address: Croeselaan 18, 3521 CB, Utrecht, Netherlands
Please put “Support for Ukraine” as a reference.
FIP Military and Emergency Pharmacy Section
Our Military and Emergency Pharmacy Section (MEPS) has also taken action, putting out a call to its members, and we are pleased that many have said that they are available and willing to help. The section has also asked members close to Ukraine whether they have any specific requirements to facilitate aid provision. For example, knowing that Poland is expecting about 2 million refugees and that most Polish pharmacists do not speak Ukrainian or Russian, the MEPS is working with the FIP Foundation for Education and Research, the Polish Pharmaceutical Chamber and FIP member Piotr Merks, to provide pharmacists with pictograms in English, German, Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian.
Global pharmacy family must take action
Many of us have seen posts on social media showing Ukrainian pharmacists continuing to provide care in spite of danger and challenges. We should all be inspired by their heroism and courage. We are pleased to see our member organisations in Canada, Finland, Italy and Spain providing aid (find out more here
).In addition, it is important for us to distinguish between the government of a country and the people who live in that country, who also bear the brunt of their government’s decisions. FIP is an apolitical federation responsible for the development of the pharmacy profession worldwide for the benefit of society. However, this does not prevent it from condemning any act of violence that leads to death, desolation and the suffering of thousands of innocent people. We hope this tragedy soon ends and we pray for peace, but in the meantime, it is our duty to act.