São Paulo’s government has already spent $2 million (R$ 8,913,109.59) for cannabis-based medicine.
The amount was paid for the treatment of 201 patients. These patients went to court to obtain the medication by SUS (Brazil’s publicly funded health care system).
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Cannabis – a remedy for serious diseases
According to folder data, 123 authorizations have already been approved, at a cost of $1 million (R$ 5,812,634.50) and 78 patients are already being treated.
According to the secretary, the most common diagnosis among patients treated with cannabis is epilepsy, representing 70% of cases.
There are also patients with chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease and infantile cerebral palsy, among other diseases.
The figures do not include expenses with lawyers and the time invested by public defenders in these lawsuits.
A bill to access cannabis medicine
In order to clear the judicialization in the supply of cannabis drugs by the SUS, the state congressman Caio França (PSB) filed a bill that provides easy access to cannabis-based drugs by the Unified Health System.
A public hearing was held in São Paulo Parliament. On that occasion, several suggestions were made to the original text.
Victor Hugo Costa Travassos, the coordinator of pharmaceutical-assistance to the Health Secretariat, warned: “I can’t provide the medication without federal legislation.”
Anvisa is promoting a healthy population
Caio França assured that this is only a legal issue, “but I am very sure that our law does not advance competencies that are of the Congress or of Anvisa itself”.
“Anvisa’s own director-president praised the Law Project. “I do not create any new medicine, as I am not involved in the cultivation agenda, I simply extend Anvisa’s understanding of facilitating the import of individuals to the government of the State of São Paulo,” he said.
“I’m giving the regulations that Victor Hugo is asking to make importing easier, with budget forecast to reduce spending and increase the number of people served, I understand that this law is important,” concluded the deputy.
The project is likely to be approved this year
He is expecting the bill to be adopted this year. “I believe that prejudice is much more about a lack of information.”
“The public hearing that I made, the recorded testimonies of doctors, especially family members, will be decisive in the approval of this proposal. I trust in the common sense and balance of my colleagues”.
The parliamentarian answered about project approval: “The judicialization is responsible for about 30% of expenditures. So if we are at almost $2 million (R$ 10 million) in the current situation, we are talking about $710,000 (R$ 3 million) spent only on judicialization.”
“So it’s just a perspective. As I imagine it will increase from our project, it is natural that what will be saved will also increase, if we dispense with the judicial decision”.
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First published in SECHAT, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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