Information for people with MS affected by the war in Ukraine

12.04.2022

This page is aiming to provide important information for people with MS who have been affected by the war in Ukraine. This includes information about immigration rules for those displaced to countries in Europe, accessing healthcare support, medical insurance, and disability benefits. Contact information of MS in 11 countries is also provided on this page to help facilitate and support people with MS who are displaced.

Introduction

In organisations such as the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform (EMSP) we have always been clear about the inestimable value of being united in representing the voice of people, especially towards the European institutions whose decisions impact the future of people affected by MS in Europe.

Together with the European MS community, EMSP condemns every kind of aggression against people. We express our solidarity with everyone who suffers the consequences of the war in Ukraine. . EMSP, together with its member societies, is committed to supporting all people with multiple sclerosis (MS) who have been affected by the war in Ukraine. As a politically neutral, international organization, EMSP together with its member societies and the entire international MS community is committed to enabling the MS societies to provide assistance to people with MS, regardless of race religion, gender, sexuality, or country of origin and to allow them timely access to appropriate care and services in the context of the ongoing war.

 On March 4th, 2022, the European Union adopted the Temporary Protection Directive’ to help people leaving Ukraine and willing to settle in the European Union (in each of the 27 countries included in the European Union).  The Temporary Protection Directive was specifically conceived to give immediate protection to the persons who need it and to avoid overwhelming Member States’ asylum systems.   Under this proposal, Ukrainian nationals and people who have made Ukraine their home as well as their family members displaced by the conflict will be entitled to protection across the European Union. Non-Ukrainian nationals and stateless people legally residing in Ukraine who cannot return to their country or region of origin, such as asylum seekers or beneficiaries of international protection and their family members, will also be granted protection in the EU. Others who are legally present in Ukraine for a short-term and are able to return safely to their country of origins will fall outside the scope of this protection. Nevertheless, should be allowed access to the EU to transit prior to returning to their countries of origin.   There are two options when crossing the border into the European Union:  
  • You can move freely for up to 90 days on a standard tourist visa  
  • You can claim temporary protection for 1 year, which may be renewed for up to 3 years in total depending on the circumstances  
 The Temporary Protection Directive outlines a number of obligations of EU countries towards persons enjoying temporary protection, granting Ukrainian nationals, residents and their family members displaced by the conflict the following:  
  • a residence permit for the entire duration of the protection (which can last from one year to three years) 
  • appropriate information on temporary protection 
  • guarantees for access to the asylum procedure 
  • access to employment, subject to rules applicable to the profession and to national labour market policies and general conditions of employment
  • access to suitable accommodation or housing 
  • access to social welfare or means of subsistence if necessary 
  • access to medical care
  • access to education for persons under 18 years to the state education system
  • opportunities for families to reunite in certain circumstances 
  • access to banking services, for instance opening a basic bank account  
  • move to another EU country, before the issuance of a residence permit  
  • move freely in EU countries (other than the Member State of residence) for 90 days within a 180-day period after a residence permit in the host EU country is issued 
 Please note that once one can only claim temporary protection in one Member State. You should therefore only register for temporary protection when you have reached the country in which you want to stay for a longer period.     For more general information visit the European Commission webpage dedicated to providing information for people fleeing the war in Ukraine – here. 
Ukrainian Community of Multiple Sclerosis National governmental website explaining the administrative procedure for migrants who want to enter the country or who are seeking asylum in the country.
  • N/A
To register as a refugee in another country we recommend to obtain the following:
  1. Address of a friend or somebody else
  2. Medical insurance
  3. Financial support for refugees
  4. Find an apartments and work (disability status)

Duration of obtaining medical insurance

  • 1-2 weeks

Where can people get specialised MS care?

  • It is available, but no further information

What treatments for Multiple Sclerosis are available in Ukraine?

  • Interferons
  • Fingolimod
  • Mitocantrone
  • Dymetyl fumarate

Do pharmaceutical companies allow/support patients to continue a clinical study which they started in Ukraine?

  • Clinical trials in Ukraine might have been changed and replaced to another country.
  • You can find below the information provided by specific pharmaceutical companies.
  • For more information consult with your doctors or representatives of the pharma company and via Internet.

Sanofi:

  • Sanofi is fully mobilized and launched a task force focused on protecting the continuity of the treatment for all the patients enrolled in their clinical trials, including for those who have made the difficult choice to leave their country.  They are working tirelessly to identify routes to secure resupply of the study drugs and maintain oversight of the patients’ care.
  • Sanofi’s Foundation S has donated, so far, 30 million daily treatments of essential medicines and vaccines, potentially helping 20.5 million people. From those, about 33,000 daily doses of MS treatments has been donated for 1,200 MS Ukrainian patients.
  • Because of the unique nature of the industry, and in line with international law, Sanofi remains committed to continuing to supply life-saving or essential medicines and vaccines to the people of Russia who need them. Likewise, they are mobilized to ensure treatment continuity for ongoing Russian patients participating to clinical trials. 
  • If you are contacted by an individual who was participating in a Sanofi clinical trial in Ukraine and is now seeking continued participation through a site in your country, please contact the local Sanofi clinical trial team through Medinfo.Ukraine@sanofi.com.  A member of their team will then be able to help you communicate options.
  • For more information on Sanofi’s response to the situation in Ukraine please go to their website: https://www.sanofi.com/en/media-room/our-response-to-the-situation-in-ukraine
  • Other actions taken by Sanofi in Ukraine:
    • Aubagio product has been donated to 3 hospitals in different cities of Ukraine (donation in progress):
      • Center 1: Kyiv City Center for Multiple Sclerosis at Kyiv City Clinical Hospital
      • Center 2: Dnipropetrovsk Regional Clinical Hospital, Neurological Department
      • Center 3: Lviv National Medical University
Roche:
  • Email address for patients: patientcare@roche.com
  • Read more through this media release about Roche’s donation of essential medicines.
  • Roche understands the concern felt by patients and they are doing everything they can to provide ongoing access to Roche medicines and diagnostics both in and outside Ukraine. They have sufficient products in Ukraine but are hindered by the severe destruction of local infrastructure, and disruption to logistics and supply chain channels. They are doing all they can to ensure products reach centers that remain able to provide care and are seeking alternative means of distribution for individual patients where this is not the case.
  • With regards to displaced persons or refugees, a number of neighbouring countries have confirmed they will be eligible for the same access to healthcare as local citizens. Roche is working with healthcare providers in these countries to ensure sufficient supply is available. Additionally, Roche is in contact with specialist centres to identify sites that have capacity to take on the care of patients who have been participating in clinical studies.
  • Roche established a global toll-free hotline number and invite clinical trial participants, patients that are receiving a Roche drug, clinical trial investigators or coordinators, and healthcare providers to call. The team will do its best to provide everyone who is in need with the appropriate information and support. The hotline is available in multilingual and can be reached on the following number:  +36 146 182 58
Merck:
  • Merck’s global team has been in contact with their colleagues managing Ukraine in order to track the situation of the few patients they have there and ensure they are able to still get access to medicines marketed by Merck.
  • Contact information for Ukrainian patients participating in one of Merck’s Phase-III clinical trials of evobrutinib (EVOLUTION RMS) :
  • Ukrainian number:  +38 0800 50 28 66 (Ukrainian native speaker)
  • German number: +49 800 100 71 05 (English speaking helpdesk)
  • Website: https://ua.evolutionstudies.com/  (Ukrainian version)
  • Website: https://ru-ua.evolutionstudies.com/#!/  (Russian version)
Biogen:
  • Biogen does not have any registrations for MS products in Ukraine
  • The Biogen Foundation has provided a $250,000 grant as well as launched an employee giving campaign that doubles employees’ contributions to provide medical supplies, food, water, shelter, and other essential support. Contributions to date have surpassed more than $1 million in grants, in-kind materials, volunteering, and other support.