By Peter Stevenson
More than 20 patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) have been unable to receive their medication for the last 10 months and have asked Health Minister Petros Petrides and the House Health Committee to intervene.
The MS association in a statement said that more than 20 patients were approved by the health ministry’s council of doctors to receive a specific medication but were later told it was not suitable and they should wait for a replacement. This has not yet materialised, ten months later, and patients have not been told when they can expect it.
The association said the condition of many of the patients was worsening and in some cases has become irreversible.
“These patients needed to begin treatment yesterday and we call on the relevant bodies to inform us as soon as possible when medication will be made available,” the association said.
Medication, it said, was a human right and patients should not reach the point where they need to beg for treatment.
Petrides told the Cyprus Mail that following its own internal investigation into the matter which was concluded around two weeks ago, the purchase of the MS medication was approved but it came only after state budget was passed by the House.
“The budget had already been approved and that meant that we could not order any more pharmaceuticals unfortunately but we have written a letter to the finance ministry asking for the €7 million, which was cut from our budget, to be returned,” he said.
The health minister said that it was just a matter of time before the matter was resolved.
“The health ministry will purchase the medication which is required to help the public and those in need out and hopefully we will be reimbursed,” he said.