Can­cer treat­ment med­i­ca­tion Rigvir re­mains on the list of com­pen­sated medicine

Baltic News Network - - News -

Lat­vian Health­care Min­istry has de­clined the re­quest from on­col­o­gists to ex­clude Rigvir med­i­ca­tion from the list of com­pen­sated medicine and medic­i­nal prod­ucts reg­is­ter, as re­ported by De Fac­tor pro­gramme.

LTV re­minds that three pro­fes­sional or­ga­ni­za­tions (in­clud­ing Lat­vian As­so­ci­a­tion of On­col­o­gists) sub­mit­ted a let­ter to Health­care Min­istry and other in­sti­tu­tions.

In it, or­ga­ni­za­tions say – stud­ies and pub­li­ca­tions about Rigvir’s ef­fi­ciency all de­scribe it as very low. For ex­am­ple, one of the stud­ies an­a­lysed two pa­tient groups – one group used Rigvir and the other did not. Au­thors of the let­ter be­lieve re­sults of that study are ques­tion­able – the group that used Rigvir also un­der­went chemo­ther­apy. In­stead of study­ing pa­tients, two pub­li­ca­tions stud­ied doc­tors’ notes from pa­tient cards, which tend to be in­ac­cu­rate and par­tial. On­col­o­gists asked to pull Rigvir from the list of com­pen­sated medicine and state med­i­cal prod­ucts reg­is­ter. Ex­perts also re­quest re­view­ing of­fi­cial melanoma treat­ment guide­lines that in­clude the use of Rigvir. «In Fe­bru­ary, the man­age­ment of Health­care Min­istry pub­licly promised to re­view the regis­tra­tion of Rigvir among com­pen­sated med­i­cal sub­stances,» De Facto says, adding that the gov­ern­ment de­cided in spring not to take into ac­count the opin­ion of on­col­o­gists. «One of the most im­por­tant factors for chang­ing any­thing in the regis­tra­tion of med­i­ca­tion or com­pen­sa­tion con­di­tions is proof of medicine not be­ing ef­fec­tive or safe,» said Health­care Min­is­ter Anda Caksa in a con­ver­sa­tion with LTV.

In a con­ver­sa­tion with LTV, Rigvir Hold­ing De­vel­op­ment Di­rec­tor Karlis Ur­bans re­fused to com­ment crit­i­cisms voiced by on­col­o­gists. He told LTV that the com­pany plans to per­form clin­i­cal tri­als, but only to have the prod­uct reg­is­tered on an EU level. «We don’t need sci­en­tific proof to con­firm its ef­fec­tive­ness,» Ur­bans told LTV.

De Facto re­ports that Rigvir is cur­rently the fifth most bought pre­scribed medicine in Latvia. Sales con­tinue in­creas­ing more rapidly than other pop­u­lar types of medicine in Latvia. Sales reached EUR 4 mil­lion last year.

Lita Krone/LETA

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