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Patients request including glaucoma medicines in Affordable Medicines program

KYIV. March 6 (Interfax-Ukraine) - Patients are asking to include medicines for the treatment of glaucoma in the Affordable Medicines program, representative of the Ukrainian Society of the Blind Yaroslav Savchuk has stated.

"Now, to drip drops every day, a person needs to spend about UAH 1,000 per month. Can our usual patient, who has glaucoma, spend UAH 1,000 per month? People get blind because they do not understand the need to be treated or because there is no money for daily treatment. If the state helps such persons by lowering prices, including these drugs in the Affordable Medicines program, they could drip these drops daily and won't become burden for the state," he said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine.

"The Ukrainian society of the blind twice appealed to higher state agencies for help to include glaucoma medications in the list of available medicines, but so far the problem has not been resolved," he stressed.

Marketing and Sales Director of PJSC Farmak Susanna Khalilova, in turn, noted that preparations for the treatment of glaucoma make up half of the company's ophthalmic portfolio. At the same time, its generic drugs are more affordable than the original medicines.

"We see the experience of European countries, for example, Poland, where the reimbursement program fully covers glaucoma treatment. The state should respond to the patients' request for including these drugs in the Affordable Medicines program," she said.

At the same time, the ophthalmology expert of the Ministry of Health, Professor Oksana Vitovska, noted that ophthalmologists jointly with the medical department of the Ministry of Health prepared relevant information materials for including glaucoma in the list of nosologies under the Affordable Medicines program.

"This work is underway. Of course, no one dies from glaucoma, but patients assess the quality of their life after losing vision closer to death," she said.

According to the expert, about 20,000 new cases of glaucoma are registered in Ukraine every year.

In general, about 200,000 people in Ukraine have glaucoma.