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Sick abroad from October for innovative drugs at NHS expense

There is no innovative drug in Italy. In France, Germany or Austria yes. And if an authorization from the ASL is currently required to go to another country for treatment, "from 25 October 2013 the 'green light' will no longer be necessary and it will be possible to go across the border to secure the most advanced therapies, which arrive in our country about a year later than the European average".

This was explained to Pharmakronos by Giampietro Gasperini, director of the Oncology Unit of the San Filippo Neri hospital in Rome, on the sidelines of the presentation of the congress of the Italian College of leading hospital medical oncologists (Cipomo), scheduled from 20 to 22 June in the capital.

"Italy – recalls Gasperini – has in fact recently implemented the European Directive 2011/24 of 9 March 2011 on the application of patients' rights relating to cross-border healthcare. And if until now the patient needed the approval of his local health authority to go abroad for surgery or drug therapy at the expense of the Italian health service, from October all he has to do is leave, carry out the treatments, get a receipt and then be reimbursed by the local health authority, including travel and costs incurred by a chaperone.

In Rome every year, as a reference center together with the Ifo, we receive about 300 requests a year for treatment abroad". And with the new regulations, demand could increase, with high costs for the NHS. The Italian situation as regards the supply of innovative medicines therefore continues to worry specialists, who appreciate the efforts "recently put in place by the Italian Medicines Agency (Aifa) - underlines the president of Cipomo, Roberto Labianca - in particular to make authorization and supply times homogeneous in the individual Regions . We need to speed up the approval times for new products and give more power to direct the central authorities".

Barbara Di Chiara – 20 June 2013 – PharmaKronos





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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco