NEARLY 150,000 patients stop their treatment because they cannot pay for medicines.
It has been revealed that a shocking number of people in Alicante Province recognise that in recent months they have been forced to abandon medical treatment because they cannot afford the drugs.
According to a report by the Ministry of Health, across the Valencia Region, 7.9 per cent of patients said they could not pay for their medications and prescriptions.
The central government imposed a co-payment for medicines to pensioners in June 2012 and just two months later eliminated more than 400 medicines, many frequently used with public funding. Since then, there have been numerous warnings of the effects these measures have had on the health of people with lower incomes.
However, this is the first time a ministry official survey had put figures to the situation.
“Everyday you see this happen, patients who say they cannot take, for example, cholesterol medication because they simply do not have enough money,” said Victor Pedrera, head of Primary Care Medical Union. “Co-payment was one measure to help prevent misuse of drugs or their accumulation in people’s houses, but everyone has now been affected.”
There are now calls to alleviate the co-payment in cases of greater vulnerability, for those such as pensioners and single parents.