- 19 organizations and professionals intend to transfer proposals to Parliament and society that promote transparency in health and boost research and independent formation
- If the Congressional Table admits to proceed with the PLI, the organizations would have a nine month term to collect 500,000 signatures that would permit its debate in the Congress of Deputies
This morning, 19 organizations and professionals from the public health, transparency and scientific communities presented the popular legislative initiative (PLI) ‘Medicines at a fair price’ to the Congress of Deputies. With it, they intend to transfer proposals to change the current system of fixed medicine prices, implement measures of transparency in health, as well as the creation of a fund for research and independent formation. The Promotive Commission of the PLI is integrated with the Asociación en Defensa de la Sanidad Pública de Madrid (ADSPM), la Asociación por un Acceso Justo al Medicamento (AAJM), el Consejo de Estatal de Estudiantes de Medicina (CEEM), la Federación de Asociaciones Medicusmundi, la Fundación Civio, la Plataforma de Afectados por Hepatitis C (PLAFHC) y Salud por Derecho.
Like the organizations stated in the PLI text, the motives are abundant. In the last couple of years we have witnessed a continuous increase in the prices of new medicines, in many instances with figures superior to the cost of research and development, as is the case with the direct action antiretrovirals for Hepatitis C. This situation has led to a significant increase in pharmaceutical spending, putting the sustainability of the system at risk, introducing copayments for medicines and, consequently, limiting access to established treatments for thousands of people.
Similarly, problems related to the opacity on investments made directly or indirectly by the Public Administration in biomedical research and to its negotiations with the pharmaceutical industry exist. The lack of transparency affects the relationship between Public Administrations, pharmaceutical enterprises, medical associations, patients and health professionals, which can give rise to conflicts of interests.
Thus, the articulated text of the PLI proposes a series of amendments to the Royal Legislative Decree 1/2015, from July 24th, which approves the consolidated text of the Guarantee Law and the rational use of medicines and health products, with the goal of strengthening the capacity of health administrations to deliberate and set fair prices with maximum possible transparency, permitting access to necessary treatments and without risking the maintenance of the public health system. In addition, the proposition addresses measures to make the procurement of drug prices public knowledge.
Likewise, the PLI proposes promoting public drug research and the independent formation of health professionals by creating a fund to avoid conflicts of interest and improve the access to innovations, guaranteeing adequate prescribing and reducing the negative effects of unnecessary medications. The proposal contemplates the regulation on payments made by pharmaceutical industry to organizations and health professional, in line with other countries in our surroundings.
If the Congressional Table admits to proceed with the PLI, the organizations would have a nine month term to collect 500,000 signatures that would permit its debate in the Congress of Deputies. “We intend to open a social debate, so that citizens are aware of the situation that jeopardizes our National Health System, with the registration of this PLI. On the other hand, we want to generate a debate in Congress that would allow for changes to the rules of a game that only benefits the pharmaceutical industry,” assures Damian Caballero, President of the Hepatitis C Affected Platform (PLAFHc)
Although the protection of the right to health is not effectively enforced today, the organizations remind us that the right to health is protected under international law and the Spanish Constitution. “With the PLI, the organizations seek the best for our National Health System, so that its sustainability and quality is guaranteed and it continues to be public, free and universal. We want a transparent, ethical drug research and development system that keeps citizens best interests in mind,” concludes Laura Martínez, President of the State Board of Medical Students. (CEEM).
Promoting Commission: The Association for Public Health Defense of Madrid (APHDM), the Association for Fair Access to Medicines (AFAM), the State Board of Medical Students (SBMS), the Federation of Medicusmundi, Civio Foundation, the Hepatitis C Affected Platform (HCAP) and the Rights to Health Foundation.
Scientific Professionals: Professor Luis Montiel (University Chair for the Rights to Health and Access to Medicines) and Doctor José Luis Rodríguez Agulló (hepatologist).
Supporting Organizations: Positive Support, Association of the Users of Health in the Murcia Region, Coordinator of the Organizations of Development Cooperation, Farmacritixs, Farmamundi, Federation of Planned Parenthood, Spanish Federation of Medical Students for International Cooperation, Valencia Community Medical Group for Family and Community Medicine, No Thank You, Spanish Society of Public Health (SSPH).