The Pancyprian Federation of Patients’ Associations and Friends (Osak) urged HIO to expedite the process to incorporate expensive, innovative and specialised treatments into Gesy, Phileleftheros reports.
“June is in sight and there are many matters pending,” Osak president Marios Kouloumas told Phileleftheros.
“The reason why we are concerned is that such medicine have no substitutes, are specialised and are extremely necessary for treating patients with serious, chronic or rare diseases. Therefore there is no excuse for not having this done come June 1st,” he added.
Asked what type of medicine he is referring to, Kouloumas cited cancer drugs, rheumatological and neurological medication, rare diseases drugs and others.
“These aren’t drugs that concern the wider public but they do concern serious illnesses. Today, to secure such innovative treatments, the Health Ministry has to activate a procurement process and when they receive the medicine they are then distributed to patients that meet a set of criteria.
“With Gesy, the plan is for HIO to put together a Compensations Committee that will take on — without a procurement procedure — negotiations to secure such specialised medication and then distribute to beneficiaries based on Gesy protocols.
“Therefore, we need to look into protocols as well; what will those be? Are we going to use the same ones the Health Ministry has been following so far or do new ones need to be prepared?
“We regret to observe that there are delays in planning, and June is just around the corner. Which medicine will continue to be distributed by the public sector and which will be transferred to local pharmacies?
“We worry because we have already witnessed delays in the implementation of some Gesy aspects and we don’t want to see this happen here too.
“To prevent this, treatment protocols need to be properly prepared in collaboration with doctors so that we are ready on June 1,” he concluded.