The Kamra ta’ l-Ispizjara ta’ Malta held its first CPD seminar  with the above mentioned title on the 31st May. The seminar focused on the recent amendmentsto legislation regarding Schedule  V which  have passed through Parliament and the Department of Pharmaceutical Affairs (MHEC) is working to implement these changes. These changes  enable more patients with different medical conditions to be  eligible  to  free medicines to meet their needs .

During the seminar it was noted that:

– there is a major disconnect between the Department of Health and Health Care Professional (HCP) Associations impinging on sensible consultation on such important reforms which effect HCPs and patients at large.

– the patient associations and support groups were not informed of the reform thus patients need to be informed by their HCP increasing workload.

– in spite of the reform in Schedule V patients are still not receiving treatments that meet their needs.  This is mainly due to lack of funding for the purchasing of innovative medications.

– although there is a very large number of generic medicines on the market thus making the market competitive and driving prices down implying savings for the government, innovative medicines are still lacking.

– Type 1 diabetic patients over 36 years are the ones to be able to benefit most of the reform switching from means tested pink card to yellow card as they are now entitled to receiving a blood glucose (BG) meter with respective test strips.

– unless the innovative antidiabetic medications and analog insulins are added to the Government Formulary List (GFL) for Type 2 patients little or no patients will opt to switch.

– second-line agents need to find their way on the GFL as well as a broader choice of drugs within the same class as some patients may have genetic predisposition to be non-responders thus the possibility to be offered an alternative rather than be obliged to purchase because of unavailability on GFL.

It was concluded that the Kamra should build an alliance with other interested stakeholders as these are not engaged by the respective authorities and informed of these important reforms. Furthermore, this will help in creating a larger pressure group to find ways and means of having innovative medicines available on the GFL at a faster pace comparable to other EU countries.

The President and Council of the Kamra wish to thank Dr Nathasha Azzopardi Muscat CMO, MHEC; Dr Anthony P. Azzopardi President, Association of Private Family Doctors (APFD) and the Malta Health Network (MHN) for their invaluable contributions during the seminar and to members present for their proactive participation in the ensuing discussion.

The presentations below are available to download with kind permission from the authors.  It is strictly prohibited to reproduce in whole or in part before obtaining prior approval from the authors.

Seminar Malta Chamber of Pharmacists – Dr. N Azzopardi Muscat CMO, MHEC

A Patient Centered Pharmaceutical Service in the Community – Dr. A. P. Azzopardi President APFD

Access to Treatment Ethical Issues – Ms. M.A. Ciappara, Chamber of Pharmacists Council Member