According to a recent article, the cancer drug Litalir has not been available in the Czech Republic since last summer. However, patients are provided with a substitute medication, albeit through an exception. The Ministry of Health promises that Litalir will be readily available again from June onwards.
Litalir, a cancer drug, is still not accessible in the Czech Republic. However, patients can receive treatment through an alternative medication containing the same active ingredient, hydroxyurea, although obtaining it is considerably more challenging.
The substitute drug is not available in regular pharmacies with a prescription. Patients must have hospitals secure it for them. Martin Mátl, a pharmacist and representative of the Deputy Director for Pharmacy Care Management, stated that while the deliveries are unstable, they have provided the necessary treatment for patients thus far. The substitute medication is approximately four times more expensive than Litalir, and its reimbursement from insurance companies has not yet been determined, so patients have to cover the cost themselves.
Due to the unavailability of Litalir, some patients have resorted to seeking the drug abroad. One patient mentioned that she obtained the medication from Germany, which would last her three months since she only takes one tablet daily. She also said that her hematologist informed her that ten patients rely on this drug and travel to Germany to obtain it.
However, all hospitals in regional cities ensure patients can acquire the medication through their clinics. The hospitals confirmed that patients need not worry about their treatment. If patients insist on using Litalir, they will be issued a prescription and can purchase the drug in Poland or Germany. However, patients must request reimbursement from their insurance companies themselves.
The Ministry of Health plans to resolve the issue by June. They have arranged for the delivery of the drug from Hungary. Jakub Dvořáček, the Deputy Minister of Health, believes the situation has been resolved. He expects that by June 1st, the drug will have a set reimbursement. In the future, the ministry aims to negotiate with multiple manufacturers to supply medicines with the same active ingredient to the Czech market, reducing the likelihood of further shortages.