The Premier also said that the Cantacuzino Institute will be restructured and the vaccine production handled by Antibiotice Iasi.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta attended the conference “Health Forum – the financing of the health sector 2013” where he said, among others, that he commits himself to a budget which won’t be cash-strapped by September or October, or even December 31, 2013 and that he will consider a realistic health policy for the next 3 to 4 years. “The most important thing or the shortest pledge I could make along with those here today is to have a budget that would not get cash-strapped by September or October, in the best case, but that there will still be money in the budget even on Dec 31 2013, to think of an investment and financial spending strategy for at least 3-4 years,” the PM said, who is also caretaker health minister. Ponta added that he is certain that there is no country in this world where health financing can cover absolutely all the problems. “What I know is there are many things that can be straightened out just by willing to do so. I don’t talk of billions overnight, of hospitals growing in one day, I’m talking about small things that are important and could be resolved in a minute. (…) So that, the very short term concern is to identity those areas where there is will, political obviously, but administrative as well, and then we can go on to those things that we can do in the medium and the long run,” Ponta also said. Ponta also referred to the streamlining of the Cantacuzino Institute, amid the Executive‘s passage yesterday of the memorandum on the institute’s reorganization. According to the PM, the Institute will be restructured thru a process which will result in autonomous research and development, while production will be managed by state company Antibiotice Iasi. “The institute will be downsized so that it will be able to survive and have a very clear prospect, implicitly of manufacturing vaccines in Romania at a price altogether different from that which we had to import,” the premier said, who assured that that the state will keep its stake in the company. He nonetheless gave no definite timeframe within which vaccine production would be resumed, saying that such estimate is up to “those skilled at it”. Also, Health Undersecretary Raed Arafat yesterday showed that the Cantacuzino Institute will resume vaccine production, including the flu vaccine, within a year to one and a half years from the beginning of downsizing talks, a time interval during which authorities will procure vaccines from other sources. Vaccine doses will be purchased from abroad given the Cantacuzino Institute production line has been shut down. The institute is an autonomous producer, independent financially and economically, specializing in vaccine production and research and development. The institute, which is one of the highly rated manufacturer of immunological products worldwide, began declining in February 2010, after the national Medicines Agency (ANM) withdrew’ the institute’s authorization to market injectable products, including vaccines, given the expiration of its good manufacturing practice standard. This led to some of the national immunization programs being deadlocked for several months and authorities having to import the vaccines.