Families of the SMA patients visited Health Minister Dr. Fahrettin Koca to express their gratitude

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Health Minister Dr. Fahrettin Koca received the families of SMA patients and singer Mr. Haluk Levent who wanted to express their gratitude.

“There used to be demonstrations organized to achieve this. At that time, we were making efforts to settle the problem, and H.E. President also attached too much importance to this issue. Although we had some problems with the relevant company from time to time, we promised to solve and bring this problem to an end” said Health Minister and continued his words as follows:  

“Clinical studies ended in early April 2018 for Type 2 and Type 3. Citizens may be thinking that this medicine is not included in the reimbursement list even though it exists in the market for years, but this is not the case. During this period, the assessment committee conducted and completed its studies about conformity and scientific qualification of the medicine. After conformity of the medicine is established, there must be applications which need to be evaluated by the Science Commission. During this period, 199 patients of Type 2 and Type 3 were assessed. There are a handful of countries in the world which include such expensive medicines in the reimbursement list.”

 “In order to ensure uninterrupted access to the medicine and render the treatment sustainable, we will provide production of the medicine through use of obligatory license. We will initiate pre-marriage scanning programs with the introduction of domestic diagnosis kits. Thus we will adopt preventive measures. We also wish to increase the number of SMA application and treatment areas. We are determined to achieve this” said Mr. Koca and made the following statement about the recent claims on non-availability of some medicines in the markets:

“There are some claims about non-availability of some medicines in the markets, which are sometimes correct but sometimes misleading. Price regulation of the medicines is carried out in every February with a specific multiplier based on the average Euro currency rate of the previous year. Parties come together for this purpose and economic commission makes the decision. We know that producers, warehouse owners and pharmacists may stock the medicines because of the price expectations. For the last 10 days, 900 auditors of the Ministry have been working on the site, who found out stocking activities by 42 producers, 20 warehouse owners and 32 pharmacists. We will impose strict sanctions in the coming days to prevent this. We would never tolerate deprival of our citizens from the medicines.”

“There were promises and they have been upheld”

The singer Mr. Haluk Levent said they were really happy and added “We are very pleased. There were promises given, and now they have been kept and upheld. I was really nervous, but it came true.  Turkey is eradicating this sickness step by step. Pre-marriage measures are very important not to give birth a baby with SMA. We cannot find the exact words to express our happiness.” 

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Updated: 04/02/2019