Brazil, Peru and Chile boost access to medicines and care in the fight against rare diseases
27 febrero 2019

On February 22, the Senate’s Social Affairs Committee approved the creation of a special sub-committee on rare diseases so as to develop concrete public policies to combat these diseases, improve access to health care and medicines for patients who suffered them. Within the successful experiences of Chile and Peru in this area, Brazil is trying to replicate their actions. In particular, on February 19, Chile extended, by decree, the scope of the rare diseases law to include nine new ones, among them, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis and gastrointestinal stromal tumours. Peru, also, approved this week the regulation of the law that establishes the National Care Plan for Rare Diseases.

The World Health Organization defines these diseases as those that affect 65 people per 100,000. Currently 7% of the world’s population suffers from some of them, and, also, this percentage also reflects the amount of people who have serious problems to access consistent treatment. To fight against this scourge, the Social Affairs Committee will form, at the request of the senator allied to the officialism, Mara Gabrilli, a Special Subcommission on Rare Diseases. She explained that her objective will be “to promote the implementation of public policies that guarantee diagnosis, quality treatment and comprehensive care” for patients. They aim is to develop and present a legal proposal in the course of 2019.

Brazil seeks to emulate the experiences of Chile and Peru, who are advanced in the matter. In this sense, this week the Ministry of Public Health of Peru approved the regulation of the law that establishes the National Plan for Prevention and Comprehensive Care of Rare Diseases. It makes its application viable by establishing mechanisms for access to treatment. And Chile also approved a decree that extends the diseases covered by its law on rare diseases. Nine new diseases will be reached, which implies an additional investment of 43 million dollars in medicines and supplies. This decree will enter into force on June 1 of this year.