Cyprus Mail

Miracle drug for heart patients to be reviewed for Gesy inclusion

File photo

Secretary of the Cypriot Heart Patients’ Association, Stelios Christodoulou, has called on the Ministry of Health to speed up approval for induction into Gesy of a new life-saving drug treatment for sufferers of cardiovascular disease.

The drug treatment in question is indicated for patients with hypercholesterolemia whose condition is unresponsive to statins and other medicines currently available via the healthcare system.

Speaking on CyBC radio Tuesday morning, Christodoulou pointed out that cardiovascular disease and its associated conditions are the leading cause of premature death in Cyprus, higher than cancer, and stated that the medicine in question, if administered in a timely manner, would be more cost-effective for the state than inpatient services in the long run.

The specific cholesterol-lowering drug which is currently produced by two or three companies, Christodoulou said, is sold at a prohibitively high cost of 2,000 euros for a 6 month treatment. However, Christodoulou emphasized that the treatment prevents the advance of disease and can be lifesaving for patients, including children, with genetically inherited conditions of hypercholesterolemia.

Spokesperson for the ministry of health, Sofia Petridou, said that the drug application is already under consideration by the ministry’s pharmacological department and less than one year is normally needed to approve a medicine for Gesy inclusion. Each approved medicine, Petridou explained, is accompanied by a protocol to determine who is eligible to receive it, and, in this case, due to the high cost of the medicine, patient needs must be strictly prioritized.

Prices for innovative therapies, Petridou added, remain high for close to ten years or more, as it takes ten years for a drug company to allow generic variants to be sold on the market.





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