Deputy Minister Maciej Miłkowski announced at the Economic Forum in Karpacz that next year some biological drugs will be available not only in hospitals, but also in outpatient clinics. A list of such drugs is already being developed at the Health Ministry, and work will soon move to the implementation stage. - This is very good news for patients, some of whom, in order to administer the drug, have to drive several hundred kilometers, take a day off work or ask someone to help them get to the hospital," says Violetta Zajk, president of the National Association of Young People with Inflammatory Connective Tissue Diseases "3 Let's Stay Together. She adds that the Association was developing a map of centers implementing drug programs in rheumatology and it turned out that there are only 20 of them - This is definitely not enough. The Health Ministry recently launched the long-awaited biological treatment program for lupus patients, and this means that the centers running the existing drug programs will be even more burdened, and are already becoming inefficient, she added. She stressed that she hopes the list of biologic drugs that will be made available to patients in outpatient clinics will also include those for rheumatology patients.
Barriers to access to therapy
Biological drugs have revolutionized medicine, as they have proven effective against diseases for which previously used pharmaceuticals did not work. In Poland, access to these therapies is still much worse than in other EU countries. According to the report "Inequalities in Access to Biological Treatments in Autoimmune Diseases in Europe," in 2020, 1.8% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis in Poland had access to biological therapies, compared to about 20-25% in other European countries.
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