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Archivos de Medicina Interna

Print version ISSN 0250-3816On-line version ISSN 1688-423X


MUXI MARTINEZ, Pablo Juan et al. Regulations for high cost drugs Experience of the National Resource Fund with rituximab and imatinib: development, outcomes and impact on medical care in Uruguay. Arch. Med Int [online]. 2014, vol.36, n. , suppl.1, pp.s01-s21. ISSN 0250-3816.

The National Resource Fund is a non-state legal entity that provides financial coverage to highly specialized medical procedures; it was created by law in 1979 to provide such care with equality and the best quality, while ensuring sustainability. In 2004, the National Resource Fund decided to start providing financial coverage for two high-cost medications for conditions with techniques funded by the agency, which at the time were not included in the core listing of care of the health care centers. That led to inequity in people’s access to such care.  With the scientific evidence available at the time, the Fund decided to start covering rituximab and imatinib for the treatment of non Hodgkin B lymphoma and chronic myeloid leukemia, respectively. This paper describes the scientific grounds that supported the coverage regulations, their development and the methodology applied for their implementation. We discuss the results obtained with these two regulations, their impact on care and their role as a model for coverage of other high-cost drugs. Based on the analysis, it becomes apparent that the regulations for coverage of imatinib and rituximab made it possible to provide universal and equitable administration of these drugs and improved the quality of care of the above conditions. The results observed in the patients treated were consistent with international standards. Two-year survival of aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphomas was 74.7%, in smoldering non-Hodgkin lymphomas was 88.4% and chronic myeloid leukemia was 92.7%. The regulations also acted as an operative model for the implementation of financial coverage of other high-cost drugs, impacting the country’s medicine. In 2011 the National Resource Fund provided financial coverage to pay for high cost medicine of over 1,500 patients, which accounts for about 30% the agency’s annual budget.

Keywords : Non Hodgkin lymphoma; chronic myeloid leukemia; rituximab; imatinib; management; high cost drugs; regulations; quality of care; survival.

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