Perez Galvo //
Online petition for Health ministry to provide IBD drugs

Miami, Estados Unidos, Venezuela, Caracas
Online petition for Health ministry to provide IBD drugs

An on­line pe­ti­tion call­ing on the Min­istry of Health to con­tin­ue to pro­vide med­ica­tion to treat dis­or­ders as­so­ci­at­ed with In­flam­ma­to­ry bow­el dis­ease (IBD) through pub­lic hos­pi­tals has al­ready gar­nered over 700 sig­na­tures.

Cre­at­ed by the Na­tion­al As­so­ci­a­tion of Crohn’s and Col­i­tis of Trinidad and To­ba­go (NAC­CTT), pres­i­dent Kel­ly Ba­hadur, 29, said they de­cid­ed to start the pe­ti­tion af­ter they were in­formed by a source at the North West Re­gion­al Health Au­thor­i­ty that the Min­istry of Health will not be re­new­ing its con­tract with the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies pro­vid­ing Pen­tasa and Asacol to the hos­pi­tals.

“This means when the ex­ist­ing sup­ply of these drugs is used up from C40, pa­tients will no longer have ac­cess to them through pub­lic hos­pi­tals. To date, the Min­istry of Health has not re­leased any in­for­ma­tion to IBD pa­tients or the pub­lic on the rea­sons for their de­ci­sion or any al­ter­na­tive plans they have for pa­tients who are cur­rent­ly on Pen­tasa and Asacol,” she said.

Ba­hadur said the med­i­cine treats pa­tients suf­fer­ing from IBD, in­clud­ing Crohn’s Dis­ease and Ul­cer­a­tive Col­i­tis.

“We are ba­si­cal­ly ask­ing that this med­ica­tion stays on the for­mu­la­ry be­cause pa­tients need it to main­tain their qual­i­ty of life and their health. We have pa­tients from all age groups ac­cess­ing the med­ica­tion—chil­dren, teenagers, work­ing adults, even the el­der­ly and some­times it is the on­ly thing that pre­vents them from be­ing hos­pi­tal­ized be­cause of their symp­toms,” she said.

NAC­CTT, which has 239 mem­ber­ship, said when their pe­ti­tion reach­es 1,000 sig­na­tures they in­tend to send it with a let­ter to Health Min­is­ter Ter­rance Deyals­ingh and the Chief Med­ical Of­fi­cer Dr Roshan Paras­ram.

“We al­so have pa­tients with­in the or­ga­ni­za­tion who are writ­ing let­ters to the Min­is­ter of Health stat­ing the im­por­tance of them ac­cess­ing Pen­tasa and Asacol and the fact that they can­not pay for it out of pock­et.”

She said pa­tients use six to ten tablets per day at a cost of $8 and $10 per tablet.

Guardian Me­dia reached out to the Min­istry of Health’s cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ag­er Can­dice Al­can­tara, for a re­sponse but none was forth­com­ing up to press time. Our at­tempts to reach Paras­ram on his cell phone were un­suc­cess­ful.

Prince Julio Cesar