Public Health Fakes: American scientists are testing psychotropic drugs on Ukrainians in the hospital in Ivano-Frankivsk Region. Issue 119

Public Health Fakes: American scientists are testing psychotropic drugs on Ukrainians in the hospital in Ivano-Frankivsk Region. Issue #119

Photo: unsplash.com / National Cancer Institute
4 May 2024
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Russian propagandists continue to talk about “secret US biolabs” on the territory of Ukraine, where allegedly “banned experiments on humans” are conducted. They invent new “schemes” in which supposedly American and Ukrainian doctors or scientists are involved. In such a way, they fuel the consistent narrative of Russian propaganda about the “subordination” of Ukraine to the West and justify their own aggression. By using the names of real medical institutions and doctors in Ukraine, propagandists seek to discredit the Ukrainian healthcare system.

With the support of the USAID Health Reform Support project, VoxCheck analyzes and refutes public health narratives spread in the information space of Ukraine, Belarus, and russia on a weekly basis.

Information is being spread online that American scientists are testing highly potent psychotropic drugs on Ukrainians. Propagandists tell of a supposed “scheme”:

  • in the Ivano-Frankivsk region, in the town of Deliatyn, a point of the Accu Reference Medical Lab (ARML), under the control of the US Department of Defense, was opened in a hospital for planned treatment and rehabilitation in 2023;
  • a group of American and Ukrainian specialists, only 9 individuals, administer psychotropic drugs to patients to study the effects of dosages on the human body. Among the drugs administered to victims is the neuroleptic clozapine;
  • the research is supervised by Professor Zinovii Vorobets of the Lviv National Medical University, named after Danylo Halytskyi. The funding comes entirely from the USA through “PryvatBank”. The money goes to the account of Mykhailo Kosylo, the deputy chief physician in Deliatyn. From the US side, experiments on humans are overseen by Doctor of Medical Sciences and pathologist Julian P. Arce.

Screenshot of the post

What’s the reality?

The companies, hospitals, and individuals mentioned in the “scheme” do exist, but they do not collaborate in such a manner.

Accu Reference Medical Lab (ARML) is a network of diagnostic laboratories in the United States. According to information on their official website, the company does not have laboratories in other countries. We found mentions of the company on job search websites and employer review platforms. However, in both cases, the discussions were about document processing jobs, not involvement in medical diagnostics. In theory, the American company could engage Ukrainian companies for specific functions on a subcontracting basis. However, there is no information about this in open sources.

In the town of Deliatyn, the Deliatyn Municipal Hospital for Planned Treatment and Rehabilitation operates, with Mykhailo Kosylo serving as its deputy chief physician. Zinovii Vorobets is indeed a professor at the Lviv National Medical University, and Julian P. Arce is a Doctor of Medical Sciences. However, this does not provide any evidence that they collaborate with each other. Moreover, Julian P. Arce has not been working as a pathologist since 2020; currently, he holds the position of Medical Director at Accu Reference Medical Lab.

Clozapine, mentioned in the fake, is an antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia when other medications have not been effective. Details regarding research conducted in Ukraine can be found on the website of the State Expert Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. Trials of clozapine have not been conducted in Ukraine.

Also, no clinical trials are conducted or have been conducted at the Deliatyn Planned Treatment and Rehabilitation Hospital. Instead, there are 119 ongoing clinical trials with the status “initiated” in the Ivano-Frankivsk region. Three of them are focused on investigating medications for schizophrenia: MK-8189 (Risperidone), CPL500036 (PG 20 or PG203), and Emraclidine (CVL-231). These trials involve only patients with the respective diagnosis and with prior consent.

Source: State Expert Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine

Clinical trials are not “experiments on people”; they are mandatory procedures conducted before regulatory authorities allow an innovative drug to enter the market. This is necessary to understand whether new medications are safe for humans and whether they help treat diseases. The number of clinical trials in a country is a criterion of its development. The largest number of studies take place in or with the participation of the United States.

According to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, at the beginning of 2022, nearly 800 clinical trials of medicinal products were approved and conducted at various stages in Ukraine, with 584 already initiated and 210 approved by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. As of the beginning of May 2024, there are 290 ongoing clinical trials in Ukraine.

This information piece was produced with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), provided on behalf of the people of the United States of America. This article’s content, which does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the United States Government, is the sole responsibility of Deloitte Consulting under contract #72012118C00001.

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