Santo Domingo, DR. –In recent months, the Department of Health’s expensive drug program has been heavily criticized by politicians, the media and the general public for delivery delays, bureaucracy, and obstruction of the Procurement and Employment Act.
Chronic diseases such as dysplasia, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, kidney disease are part of the more than one hundred types of conditions covered by this program.
In recent days, concerns have been raised in the media by the director of public procurement and contracts, Carlos Pimentel, who said that this head of social policy is “unacceptable to the government.” It was later revealed that this was a call for the Administrators of Health Risks (ARS) to cover more expensive drugs.
The Expensive Medicines Program currently has a budget of 8 billion pesos a year to guarantee free treatment to a limited number of chronically ill patients.
According to a press release recently issued by the Ministry of Health, 1,300 new patients have been enrolled this year and treatment has been continued without delay for more than 16,000 beneficiaries.
For its part, the Essential Medicines Program (PROMESE/CAL) manages a RD$7.3 billion budget for the purchase of these medicines.
As part of this program, they recently completed two drug procurement processes required by the Access to Expensive Drug Administration (DAMAC) to cover demand from May to November of this year.
During these two procurement processes, 75 molecules were purchased for which a budget of 3,406,760,728 million pesos was allocated.
There are more than 100 chronic diseases that are treated with expensive drugs.
Among pathologies, various types of cancer are in the greatest demand, which account for 41% of chronic diseases covered by this Program.
Among the main diseases are: Cancer of the tongue, prostate, colon, lung, rectum, papillae, head and neck, tonsils, cervix, pharynx, breast, ovaries, pancreas, kidneys; and thyroid cancer. Idiopathic arthritis, psoriatic, rheumatoid arthritis. Among others, endometriosis, Behcet’s disease, hepatitis C, suppurative hydradenitis, arterial hypertension, pulmonary hypertension and renal failure.
Currently, the Public Health Expensive Medicines Program has a catalog of 106 affordable medicines, including:
Abiraterone acetate, abiraterone acetate, goserelin acetate, goserelin acetate, sustained release implant, leuprorelin acetate. zoledronic acid, zoledronic acid, adalimumab, agalsidase beta, atezolizumab, azacitidine, basiliximab, bevacizumab, bevacizumab; among other things.
On his side is the National Council of Social Security (CNSS), the governing and supreme body of the Dominican social security system, which is responsible for providing social protection. Coverage that affiliates have for social security, catastrophic illnesses and expensive drugs.
As explained in Decree No. 553-02 on the expansion and unification of coverage for both drugs and expensive procedures. The fact is that as of September 2022, CNSS approved a budget of 1,000,000 pesos to 2,090,000 pesos as a cover cap per member. Including a list of pathologies that require expensive treatment, currently covered by ARS.
CNSS covers a total of 89 expensive adult and pediatric cancer drugs, neoadjuvant, adjuvant and palliative drugs.
abiraterone, megestrol acetate, follinic acid; ibandronic acid, zoledronic acid, albumin + plakitaxel, anastrozole, aprepitant; Azathioprine, basilximab. Bendamustine, Bevacizumab, Bicalutamide, Bleomycin, Bortezomib; Busulfan, Capecitabine, Carboplatin, Cetuximab, Cyclophosphamide; in addition to others with high market value.