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Cancer treatment medication Rigvir remains on the list of compensated medicine

Latvian Healthcare Ministry has declined the request from oncologists to exclude Rigvir medication from the list of compensated medicine and medicinal products register, as reported by De Factor programme.

LTV reminds that three professional organizations (including Latvian Association of Oncologists) submitted a letter to Healthcare Ministry and other institutions.

In it, organizations say – studies and publications about Rigvir’s efficiency all describe it as very low. For example, one of the studies analysed two patient groups – one group used Rigvir and the other did not. Authors of the letter believe results of that study are questionable – the group that used Rigvir also underwent chemotherapy. Instead of studying patients, two publications studied doctors’ notes from patient cards, which tend to be inaccurate and partial.

Oncologists asked to pull Rigvir from the list of compensated medicine and state medical products register. Experts also request reviewing official melanoma treatment guidelines that include the use of Rigvir.

«In February, the management of Healthcare Ministry publicly promised to review the registration of Rigvir among compensated medical substances,» De Facto says, adding that the government decided in spring not to take into account the opinion of oncologists.

«One of the most important factors for changing anything in the registration of medication or compensation conditions is proof of medicine not being effective or safe,» said Healthcare Minister Anda Caksa in a conversation with LTV.

In a conversation with LTV, Rigvir Holding Development Director Karlis Urbans refused to comment criticisms voiced by oncologists.

He told LTV that the company plans to perform clinical trials, but only to have the product registered on an EU level. «We don’t need scientific proof to confirm its effectiveness,» Urbans told LTV.

De Facto reports that Rigvir is currently the fifth most bought prescribed medicine in Latvia. Sales continue increasing more rapidly than other popular types of medicine in Latvia. Sales reached EUR 4 million last year.


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K.Urbans 06.09.2017
My quote is compiled from 60min interview with bias and out of context. The correct version would be - we need further clinical studies for central registration at EMA, but for the national registration in Latvia we had enough clinical studies 13 years ago, so to work here we don't need to provide scientific evidences for efficacy again.