Unacceptable to exclude medicines from the NHS.

April 22, 2014

KEFEA meeting with the Troika

The Cyprus Association of Research and Development Pharmaceutical Companies (KEFEA) greatly concerned over media reports which claim that only one medicine will be available for every disease following the implementation of the National Health System (NHS), stressing that such a development would be a serious setback and have an adverse impact on the provision of health care to Cypriot patients.

In a meeting held at the Directorate General for European Programmes on Wednesday, 5 February 2014, KEFEA explained to the Troika the dangers of providing only one treatment for each disease, and underlined the fact that Cyprus will be the only country in the world with a National Health System which does not afford patients’ the right to equal access of medicines.

KEFEA reiterated that such a practice would rescind the philosophy of the NHS and significantly undermine the quality of healthcare offered, while at the same time creating drug shortages in Cyprus. Furthermore, such a practice violates the physicians’ right to freedom of choice when choosing treatments and creates serious problems in implementing the directive for Cross-border Healthcare.

KEFEA President, Ms Joanna Kozakou, stated that the pharmaceutical companies understand Cyprus’ difficult financial position, however, solutions should be explored that would allow the NHS to provide access to new medicines and at the same time maintain costs within the budget restrictions. “It is unfair for Cypriot patients to not have access to new, innovative therapies that have the potential to improve their quality of life, because of outdated procedures followed by the state,” said Ms Kozakou. “Such a practice should come to an end with the implementation of the NHS which will also call on patients to contribute to financially.”

The proposal to provide patients with one medicine per disease effectively continues the state’s current approach of announcing tenders to purchase medicines. This practice in today’s public sector ignores the patient’s right to access various medicines and delays the introduction of new innovative treatments that have been available abroad for years.

The Troika delegation carefully listened to KEFEA’s concerns and committed to look

into the matter.

KEFEA – www.kefea.org.cy
KEFEA was established in 2006 and represents the innovative pharmaceutical industry in Cyprus. KEFEA’s members are the companies GSK, Lilly, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi and Amgen Hellas. Its mission is to provide Cypriots with innovative medicines. Among its objectives are to ensure uninterrupted access to medicines in the Cyprus market, provide qualitative healthcare, offer scientific educational information on diseases and treatments to healthcare providers, and ensure that European objectives regarding high healthcare standards are implemented in Cyprus.