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Old drugs disguised as new, so multinationals raise their prices

Pertuzumab and afibercept. These are the two oncological drugs that entered the eye of the storm because they were authorized by AIFA on May 27th and therefore available in pharmacies but at the total expense of the patient. Six thousand euros for the first, used against breast cancer, and then 3 thousand every three weeks, 4 thousand euros for the second every three weeks. Blame? Of the Balduzzi decree, which recently entered into force, according to which immediately after the approval of the EMA and before the agreement on the price with AIFA which can last up to six months, the drugs can be put on sale but in the range C, i.e. paid by the patient after prescription. A modality, given the cost of the medicines in question, reserved for a few and which will probably open disputes with the NHS structures for reimbursements at the regional level. For the former minister, the situation from the patient's point of view hasn't changed much: «We must remember that once, while awaiting the determination of the cost of the drug, the product was not available in Italy and many went abroad to buy it . The possibility of buying it in Italy» adds Balduzzi «had in any case been requested by the patients. So for those who can't afford it, nothing changes compared to before". President Cipomo is not of the same opinion Giampiero Fasola who underlines how the news leaves us "interdicted" and how it is a violation "of the founding principles of our national health system, perhaps the only Italian public service capable of competing, in terms of effectiveness and outcomes, with that of other countries advanced Westerners". Cipomo's oncologists are nonetheless ready to find solutions, "however, it is not acceptable that we cannot decisively tackle futile public spending, in the areas that all the press bodies have been reporting for years, and proceed with decisions that risk hit cancer patients. Instead, he speaks of a "fake response from politics". Tonino Aceti, national coordinator of the Tribunal for the rights of the patient. «The rule established by the Balduzzi decree circumvents a problem formally but not in substance. To the detriment of the patient. The real problem» explains Aceti «is speeding up the approval and authorization process which should be simplified as much as possible. Therefore, the immediate availability of the drug should be guaranteed, especially for such serious pathologies, making it the responsibility of the NHS immediately. And for questions of price, the State will deal with industry» he adds. "The news is very worrying and we don't want it to be the first of a long series," concludes Aceti.

Marco Malagutti – 3 July 2013 – DoctorNews33

Tumors: Roche, Pertuzumab available pending negotiation

(AGI) - Rome, July 2. – In relation to the inclusion of hospital drugs in "class C not

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