Premier Victor Ponta announced that the government will modify the Health Law this Wednesday, by adopting two emergency ordinances that will solve the problem.
Romania’s cancer patients continue to be confronted by the lack of medicines for their illness. The speciality commission of the Health Ministry (MS) identified 18 to 24 oncological drugs that suffer from a supply discontinuity, including 13 that are in the stock of the National Company Unifarm, and the rest being negotiated now. In order to deal with the issue, PM Victor Ponta announced that the government will take a loan from the Treasury and buy in advance all the medicines needed in oncology programmes. According to Ponta, the government will adopt in a cabinet meeting scheduled for Wednesday (January 30), two emergency ordinances with this respect. “Unfortunately, the situation of medicines for the special oncology programmes was solved only statistically (from approximately 2,500 to 1,200 patients on waiting lists and the reduction of the waiting time from 6 to 2 months). (…) “We will modify the Health Law 95/2006 by allowing the Health Ministry to increase the social capital of Unifarm and we will immediately borrow from the Treasury, for Unifarm, the EUR 800,000 necessary to buy all the needed medicines in advance,” Ponta said in an interview with Hotnews.ro. The delegate minister for budget Liviu Voinea announced that the money will reach Unifarm this week. “The government decision will be adopted Wednesday, and Thursday the money for Unifarm will be unblocked. The condition is that Unifarm must return the sum until the end of the year,” Voinea explained.Health Minister Eugen Nicolaescu explained in a note sent at the end of last week to the government that the draft budget for 2013 allocates over RON 1 M for the treatment of cancer and the institution will propose ways to supplement it by EUR 500,000 – 1,000,000. According to the document, the “crisis” of oncology medicines is generated by the discontinuity in supply public medical units, against the background of medicine producers’ and resellers’ interest for cheap products and also by the very high prices of some treatments, which sometimes exceed EUR 1,500 a dose.