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Drugs: cases of shortage of oncologists in Italian hospitals

Italian oncologists draw attention to some cases, for now, "limited numerically", of shortages of high and low cost oncological drugs in hospitals. "We have encountered some creaks" says, on the sidelines of an international congress dedicated to breast cancer, Francesco Cognetti, director of Medical Oncology A at the Regina Elena National Cancer Institute in Rome "on the availability of drugs (liposomal doxorubicin), for the treatment of ovarian, breast and hematological cancers" in a compliant manner throughout Italy and "also at the Regina Elena Institute", adds Cognetti. "For now, these are isolated cases", he continues, "far from what is happening in countries like Greece". But what worries oncologists is not only the shortage of high-cost drugs but also those that are cheap to hospitals. «Cases of shortage of stocks by companies» says Cognetti «have also been registered for very low-cost oncologicals and for drugs used in the event of transplantation in hematological patients».

DoctorNews – October 17, 2011

Rasi, Greece's signal cannot be ignored

Changing cultural approach by no longer focusing attention on blockbusters

The stop to drug supplies decided in recent weeks by some multinational companies due to the insolvencies of many public structures in Greece, "is the first sign of a scenario that we cannot fail to start analyzing".

This was stated by the director general of the Italian drug agency, Guido Rasi, on the sidelines of the Topra-Aifa symposium. "I don't think Italy – added Rasi – is in a similar situation. But it would be short-sighted not to take this signal". Rasi himself outlined the current critical issues in the sector, ranging from the "sustainability of systems" to the "new law on pharmacovigilance, which badly describes the methods of its implementation and provides for costs that are difficult to deal with in a time of crisis like this".

According to the Aifa General Manager "it will be necessary to change the cultural approach" by no longer focusing attention on blockbuster drugs but "on a model that can mediate between the needs of industries and that of health systems".

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