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Oncologists: Rigvir scandal shames Latvia

Publicity photo.
Leading oncology and health organizations in Latvia have rejected taking part in Healthcare Minister Anda Čakša’s discussion on whether or not Rigvir medicine should remain on the State Register of Medicines and list of state-compensated medicines.

Latvian Oncologists Association, Latvian Oncologists-Chemotherapists Association, Latvian Rare Diseases Specialists Association and Riga Stradins University’s Pharmacology Course’s head had previously sent a letter to the National Health Service, State Agency of Medicines and Healthcare Ministry, asking authorities to pull Rigvir drug from the State Register of Medicines and list of state-compensated medicines.
 

After receiving the response letter, oncologists’ organizations refused to participate in the minister’s discussion, which is planned for 3 October, because doctors are dissatisfied with arguments in favour of keeping Rigvir in State Register of Medicines and list of state-compensated medicines.
 

Oncologists say they have not received a response to the most important questions – what research was used to justify adding Rigvir to the register of medicines? Is the research a legitimate enough reason to add Rigvir to the register and melanoma treatment guidelines (considering specific studies)?
 

Organizations also mention the conflict of interests involving healthcare minister’s advisor for oncological matters Dr Dace Baltiņa, who is also a representative of Rigvir holding.
 

Latvian oncologists are shocked over the situation. They add that a shadow of shame has been cast over Latvia because of this situation.
 

American oncologist Dr David Gorski has analysed proof of Rigvir’s efficacy and state officials’ statements in many articles.
 

«With that, it is not just a problem for patients, honest Latvian doctors, Latvian medical tourism and Latvia’s image. It is a scandal, which impacts international publicity for Latvia and its pharmaceutical and medical industry,» oncologists say.

BNN

01-10-2017
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haizelmaeem 02.10.2017
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