Commenting on invasion of Ukraine by Russia, RPS President Professor Claire Anderson said
“We are deeply troubled by the devastating crisis in Ukraine and our thoughts are with all those affected. RPS deplores and condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calls for the immediate withdrawal of its forces. We have now removed directly invested Russian assets from the vast majority of our funds and will work to remove any remaining as soon as possible.
“RPS is keen to play its part in supporting the health professionals working in unimaginable conditions in Ukraine.
“We recognise that patient care is at risk, with hospitals, pharmacies and healthcare workers being directly impacted. Medicines shortages are a real and immediate issue.
“RPS is aware that donations of medicines are on their way from charities, NGOs and the NHS to help people gain access to treatments.
“The health professionals using these medicines will need access to reliable information on the administration and use of those medicines, especially as brand names and information are likely to be different.
“As a sign of our support and to aid the identification and safe use of medicines, RPS, through its knowledge business Pharmaceutical Press, has given free access to MedicinesComplete and the Pharmaceutical Journal to all healthcare professionals in Ukraine. This is enabled by the WHO initiative Research4Life.
“The pharmacists working hard to deliver care under the most extreme of circumstances are in our thoughts. We add our voices to those in the international healthcare community asking for a swift and peaceful resolution."
What is Research4Life?
Research4Life provides institutions in low-and middle-income countries with online access to academic and professional peer-reviewed content. Through this initiative RPS has granted free access to MedicinesComplete and the Pharmaceutical Journal, this includes Afghanistan, Yemen and most recently Ukraine.
How can I help?
The best way the offer immediate support is through the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). Through the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, you'll help DEC charities provide food, water, shelter and healthcare to refugees and displaced families. The DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently at times of crisis overseas.
Our advice, from Medicines Ethic and Practice (p130) is to consider World Health Organisation guidance before donating medicines.
WHO encourages, in the acute phase of an emergency, that standardised health kits of medicines are donated. These kits are permanently stocked by major international suppliers such as Médecins Sans Frontières and the United Nations Children’s Fund. After the acute phase, WHO encourages the donation of cash that can be used to purchase essential medicines and is usually more useful than donations of medicines. Pharmacists and patients who want to help should be advised to donate money to charitable organisations to enable them to purchase supplies.
The guidelines are intended to improve the quality of medicine donations in international development assistance and emergency aid. Good medicine donation practice is of interest to both donors and recipients.