TB advocates urge the Romanian government to take immediate action to ensure availability of all TB treatment.
In an open letter sent to the Romanian Prime Minister and Minister of Health on 16 November 2017, TB advocates, alarmed by the inability of the Romanian authorities to provide the full range of essential medicines needed for the treatment of TB, urged the government to take the necessary legislative and logistical measures to guarantee universal access to quality-assured TB treatment.
The Romanian Health Observatory recently released a report, The crisis of anti-TB medicines in Romania, stating that 15 of 28 essential TB medicines are unavailable or have supply disruptions caused by existing legislative barriers in Romania. With more than 500 new cases of drug-resistant TB detected annually, Romania has the highest number of cases in the European Union but one of the lowest rates of successful management.
International organizations are currently co-financing the procurement of essential TB medicines in Romania. International funding will end in the first quarter of 2018, threatening access to appropriate treatment. To date, the Romanian authorities have not demonstrated ability or commitment to fulfilling its legal obligations towards TB patients.
To read the full letter, click here.
A summary of the report in English can be downloaded here.
Following pressure from civil society, the Romanian Ministry of Health on 23 November 2017 announced that it plans to double the budget of the National TB program in 2018 “to ensure access to diagnosis and treatment for patients with tuberculosis”.