For over 6 years, Romanian patients have been waiting for the Government to approve the new list of subsidized drugs – costlier, newer, probably better. Among them, the Multi-drug Resistant Tuberculosis patients, (a harsher, more serious form of tuberculosis that requires long-term expensive treatment).
Every year, only 20% of them are successfully treated as not all the drugs are available. Since 2009, only a small part of the patients (around 150 from all 1400 being treated annually) have access to all the necessary drugs through a grant from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, coordinated in Romania by the Romanian Angel Appeal Foundation. 70% are cured.
The list posted on the Ministry of Health website includes, for the National TB Control Program, the drugs that were necessary but inexistent up to this day: Capreomycin, PAS, Linezolid, Imipenem, Levofloxacine, etc. The next question to ask is how the Ministry of Health will supply the budget for the National TB Program so that the list doesn’t only remain a beautiful dream.
For 2012 and 2013, the average funding received by the NTP for drugs was around 10 million RON / year. With this budget, only Linezolid can be bought and only for 78 patients (cost/patient/treatment=128,000 RON). Unfortunately, Linezolid is not a wonder drug, can’t be given by itself, it has to be administered in association with other drugs. The question about the budget is probably to be asked in the future. For now, the real question is whether the list will be approved by the stakeholders in Romania.
The detailed process of the making of the list, created by journalist Vlad Mixich from Hotnews, can be found in the article Parlamentulsilistamedicamentelor de aur.
Should you want to report the lack of certain drugs in hospitals in Romania, see LipsaTratament.