War in Ukraine: export of medicinal products to the conflict area

Private individuals should support Ukraine via aid organisations


Medical care in Ukraine is at risk. Donations and aid transported by individuals on their own initiative can be problematic for various reasons. Purchases and deliveries should be coordinated by recognised aid organisations.

Since medical care in Ukraine has been put at risk by the Russian war of aggression, Swissmedic has received a lot of questions on how medicinal products can be exported to the conflict area. It is understandable that people wish to send medicinal products to areas where they are urgently needed for humanitarian reasons and in solidarity.

Medicinal products also need to be safe, effective and of impeccable quality in crisis situations. It is therefore vital that they come from controlled sources and are correctly stored and transported (cold chain, sterility, etc.), and that the recipient is able to handle them properly. The collection1 and export of medicinal products therefore require appropriate licences to ensure their safety and efficacy. This applies to both human and veterinary medicinal products.

The best and fastest way to get urgently required medicinal products to the Ukrainian people is therefore to make a monetary donation to an established aid agency. They know the medical needs on the ground, can purchase appropriate medicines according to needs, and have the relevant licences for export. Previous experiences from crisis regions (conflicts, severe weather, earthquakes, etc.) show the advantages of professional, well-structured support on the ground.

Addition of 17.03.2022