The Ministry of Health was not allowed to carry out a revolution in the treatment of cancer patients by doctors who were unable to quickly adapt and start using innovative drugs. Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova spoke about this during a plenary session at the Biotechmed-2019 forum.
“For several decades, chemotherapy in Russia was severely underfunded, by half, and this did not allow us to conduct international protocols,” she explained. “In almost less than a year, the country’s main oncologists, for which we are very grateful to them, developed 44 clinical recommendations covering 95% of cancer incidence, and 899 treatment modules that offer 1042 chemotherapy regimens (including 445 for a 24-hour hospital).”
The head of the Ministry of Health admitted that revising the approach is “a very difficult matter.” And everyone should help the department with this.
“We were faced with the fact that doctors who had been working with 30 drugs in the cheapest segment for 20–25 years, suddenly having the opportunity to choose from 150 items and order expensive targeted drugs, were unable to adapt in the first quarter,” stated. “Now this problem is going away thanks to the main specialists who have established round-the-clock contact with each region, visited the territories, held seminars and schools. Chemotherapy will be further developed next year. Please note that we have taken an unprecedented step: in hospitals, 34 drugs from the recommended regimens are not included in the List of Vital and Essential Drugs at all, but they are still allowed for purchase. Our vision is that we want to revolutionize the treatment of cancer patients.”