Life-Saving Drug for Diabetics Stripped of Hospital Distribution, Placing Burden on Patients
The availability of a crucial life-saving drug for diabetics experiencing severe hypoglycemia has been placed in jeopardy due to a company policy decision. The “glucagon nasal powder spray,” previously distributed to hospitals, has been moved to band C, leading to patients bearing the complete expense of 140 euros per pack.
Raising the alarm on this distressing situation is the PD group in the regional council, who have announced a proposed amendment during the budget change discussions to ensure the drug’s accessibility. “Only in 2021 – as stated by the Democratic Party – was the drug in question, a nasal powder that is easy to administer and immediately effective, included among fully reimbursable drugs by AIFA.”
The transition from the previously available injectable drug to the nasal spray is significant. Administering the injectable drug required the assistance of someone capable of performing the injection. However, with the nasal spray, patients, including pediatric patients from four years old and up, can be assisted promptly even in areas lacking access to a nurse. Furthermore, the powdered drug does not need to be inhaled and can be used on unconscious patients as well.
The recent decision to release the drug from hospital distribution, two days ago, has left many concerned. “It remains to be understood how to deal with the situation in Sardinia, where there are no fewer than 1500 diabetic children and 24,000 insulin-dependent adults, all potential users of the drug,” clarifies the Democratic Party. Glucagon is a LEA (Livelli Essenziali di Assistenza) right and therefore considered a vital medical aid.
“We believe that free distribution should continue by establishing a specific fund. As the PD group in the Regional Council, we will present an amendment during the budget change discussions, allowing the Region to guarantee the drug to those in need,” states the PD group. The party highlights the urgency of this issue, emphasizing that in a region where diabetes is endemic, providing free access to the drug for families with minors could mean saving lives and restoring a sense of safety and quality.
The fate of this crucial drug now rests on the response of Councilor Doria. The region awaits his decision on the matter.