Patients with HIV complained to the Federal Antimonopoly service and the Prosecutor General to limitations in access to medicines
Representatives of public organization “Community of people living with HIV” has addressed with the complaint in office of public Prosecutor and Federal Antimonopoly service (FAS) to the new instructions of the Ministry of health for the regions on priority medicines for HIV-infected people, reports the newspaper “Kommersant”.
From 1 January 2017 on the purchase of drugs should be centralized. According to the plans of the Ministry of health, the rules will reduce the procurement cost of drugs and increase twice the coverage therapy to HIV-infected. Currently, according to statistics, antiretroviral (ARV) therapy is delivered only 30.6% of patients with HIV.
In the “Community of people living with HIV” I believe that the Ministry of health, limiting the access to modern medicines, lobbying the interests of individual producers. In turn, the Agency indicate that the user was drafted based on requests from regions for centralized procurement. The Ministry assured that the user does not limit the appointment of necessary drugs for patients, but is aimed at approaching the practices of assignment of ARV therapy to the recommendations of the world health organization (who).
The authors of the complaint, on the contrary, indicate a discrepancy between the instructions of the Ministry of health with the leading national and international clinical guidelines. So, those who have not previously received therapy, the recommended scheme with the drug “Efavirenz”. However, according to experts, six months after the initiation of therapy, at least 30% of patients refuse medication because of side effects. If you comply with the treatment regimen, it is necessary to drink ten pills a day and five to reduce “the side effects”. Experts point out that “Efavirenz” is intended for the treatment in the case of high viral load and is ill-suited for those who have not previously taken antiretroviral therapy.
The approach of the Ministry of health criticized the head of the Federal scientific and methodological center for prevention and fight against AIDS (Federal AIDS center), Vadim Pokrovsky, saying that the Agency has chosen the path of purchasing cheap drugs, cutting down costly. According to Pokrovsky, this casts the Russian system of treatment five years ago compared to Europe and North America, as cheaper drugs are analogues developed 15-20 years ago.
In turn, the regional Director of UN Programme on AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Vinay the Soldan said in an interview with “Kommersant” that, according to who recommendations, the treatment should be available in a combined form, “when a person takes only one pill a day”. He urged the health Ministry to reconsider their instructions.
Note that the rapid increase in the number of HIV-positive messages about restrictions in access to medicines patients with infection cause regular anxiety. On the eve of Vadim Pokrovsky, announcedon 30 September 2016 in Russia has recorded more than a million infected with HIV. According to him, in 15 regions of Russia there is a generalised HIV epidemic, which occurs when more than 1% of the population living in a certain area are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus.
There is also a concentrated epidemic, which occurs in varying vulnerable populations, including drug users, homosexuals and sex workers. The country is in transition from a concentrated to a generalized epidemic, stated the specialist. In his opinion, to effectively combat HIV, it is necessary to examine all Russians.
But the government, unlike experts, do not show concern about the situation with the spread of HIV. So, the Ministry of health has not included free testing for HIV in the program of prophylactic medical examination of adult population in 2017, explaining the budget deficit.
At the same time, Vadim Pokrovsky said that the State Duma will soon put forward a proposal to increase the budget for treatment of HIV infection. He recalled that in 2016, the funding was maintained at the level of 2015, and the government has set a target to reduce the cost of treatment for each HIV-infected. Pokrovsky believes that to improve the efficiency of treatment the Russians have to use more expensive drugs with effective therapy, the mortality rate among infected is not so high.