The Russian Foundation “Circle of Kindness” is an additional mechanism to help children with serious and rare diseases to existing state programs. The fund was established on January 5, 2021, to accelerate and financially secure the purchase of, first of all, expensive medicines for genetic diseases that have not yet been registered in Russia, as well as the purchase of costly medical devices and payment for new types of operations.
As soon as a new medicine for an orphan disease appears in the world, thanks to the Foundation, it can become available to Russian children. The Circle of Kindness Foundation performs an important social mission by helping the most vulnerable category of sick children.
In particular, the Foundation ensures the purchase of medicines for children with cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy, tuberous sclerosis, Duchenne myodystrophy, achondroplasia, and other diseases, as well as, for example, special dressings for children with epidermolysis bullosa. In total, the Fund’s List already includes 85 serious and rare diseases, 95 medicines, and 10 types of medical devices.
Over the two years of its operation, the Circle of Kindness Foundation has already helped 22,475 children with serious and rare diseases in the amount of 205 billion rubles (about $2.25 billion). In particular, in 2021 by 31 billion rubles (about 0.5 billion dollars), and in 2022 – 61 billion rubles. (about 1 billion dollars). The reserve of funds at the end of 2022 – 131 billion rubles (about $ 2 billion) – allows the Fund to actively expand the lists of diseases and purchased medicines.
The source of funds that the Foundation directs to help children with serious and rare diseases is part of the increased tax on citizens’ incomes. Russians who earn more than 5 million rubles a year (about 80 thousand dollars) for an amount exceeding 5 million rubles pay a tax at a rate of 15%. The difference from the base tax rate of 13% goes to the Circle of Kindness Foundation to pay for medicines and help children with severe and rare diseases.
The Fund works with taxpayers’ money – people’s money. Therefore, in making decisions on the inclusion in the lists of medicines and medical devices, representatives of society – leading doctors and representatives of well-known non-profit organizations – take. In its work, the Fund pays the closest attention to compliance procedures, ensuring the transparency of decision-making and the spending of funds allocated to the Fund.