saving money ,doesnt matter how much it costs

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huhn

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new news from Cyprus:‘Short-sighted policy on thalassaemia’, say patients

By Constantinos Psillides

THALASSAEMIA patients slammed the health services on Wednesday after having had to wait another three months to be treated with the life-saving drug Exjade.

The Cyprus Thalassaemia Association (CTA) said the health ministry and pharmaceutical services were still dragging their feet by delaying approval to administer Exjade to the patients who need it to survive.

In February, the CTA publicly accused the authorities with its head Natalia Michaelidou saying that 11 people had already died without the treatment.

Exjade’s main use is to reduce chronic iron overload in patients who receive long-term blood transfusions for conditions such as thalassaemia and other chronic anaemia conditions. It is marketed in Cyprus by Novartis.

Then Health Minister Petros Petrides promised the CTA that the government would do everything in its power to administer the drug to those who needed it, and that the process would be speeded up.

The CTA said on Wednesday that instead of approving the use of Exjade, the pharmaceutical services has asked applicants to come in for further testing, adding to the delay.

“We were promised that the matter would be resolved but instead patients are forced to undergo tests for a third time in the span of one year,” the CTA said.

The pharmaceutical services claim that the reason patients have to undergo a third barrage of tests was due to the change in composition of the ad hoc committee responsible for approving patients who would receive Exjade.

“They are trying to cut corners and save a couple of hundred euros, not taking into consideration the fact that they stand to spend thousands to treat these people if their condition takes a turn for the worse. This is a short-sighted policy and we demand the health ministry abandon it and approve the administration of Exjade for those who need it,” the organisation said.

According to the CTA, 88 patients in total are on a stand-by list to receive the drug.

The CTA also criticised a decision to include two haematologists and a cardiologist to the ad hoc committee, saying these doctors lack specialised knowledge of thalassaemia.

Last November, the health ministry ordered an investigation into the supply of Exjade after alleged irregularities were found in its purchase and supply dating back to 2011.

In an announcement on Wednesday, the pharmaceutical services stated that they are doing their best to obtain the drug always within the framework of the legal and institutionalised procedures and that they will immediately contact the patients to receive Exjade as soon as they receive the minutes of the session of the Tender Board of June 5.

The announcement said that the pharmaceutical services had asked the tender board in February to obtain Exjade not with a proclamation competition as is the standard procedure but with a negotiation procedure; that way the drug would be obtained at a lower price in order to counter balance the increase in demand, an action which saved €400,000.

The pharmaceutical services also said the CTA’s criticism on the appointment to the ad hoc committee of the two haematologists and the cardiologist was unsubstantiated, since the doctors were chosen to provide scientific assistance.

Sunshine Meadows

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“They are trying to cut corners and save a couple of hundred euros, not taking into consideration the fact that they stand to spend thousands to treat these people if their condition takes a turn for the worse. This is a short-sighted policy and we demand the health ministry abandon it and approve the administration of Exjade for those who need it,” the organisation said.

 >doh<

It is like they dont have joined up thinking.