EOPYY denies using ‘expected survival’ criterion to approve prescribed medication

The Greek state insurance system health service provider EOPYY on Wednesday denied that it has ever used patient survival expectancy as a criterion for providing necessary medication. Following the furore surrounding the procedure for approving a specific cancer drug, EOPYY said the information was requested of doctors as part of a process for evaluating proposed treatments.

“EOPYY, while preserving the safeguards on the correct administration of pharmaceuticals (as set out by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the medical community), is proceeding with a revision of prescription forms,” it said, stressing that the organisation was daily striving to ensure full coverage of the needs of every citizen, both within and outside of Greece.

The announcement also pointed out that the specific information was not requested on prescriptions for any other medication, including cancer medication, but only for one specific drug whose administration required the preliminary approval of a special committee.

“In order to speed up this process, prescription forms have been designed that the attending doctors have to fill in. Out of all the drugs approved in advance by Special Committees, only for the specific and sole radioactive drug is survival expectancy included. This is due to the fact that the approval study for the drug – as described in its public assessment report by the EMA – also includes as criteria the physical condition of the patient and survival expectancy.”