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The Albanian market does not have drugs for rare and serious diseases / Study: The only country in the region with 'old' drugs
Albania is suffering from a serious shortage of innovative drugs and therapies. During the last three years, Albania has had available only 3% of the drugs approved by the European Union.
Between 2017 and 2020, out of 160 drugs approved in the EU for rare diseases and cancer, only five were approved in Albania and none were added to the list of state-subsidized disbursements.
"The drug becomes usable when it is included in the reimbursement list. Albania has a drug reimbursement fund of only 100 million dollars per month, while the countries of the region and Europe have up to 10 times more", said the Association of Pharmacists, writes Euroactiv .
They explained that the cost of registering the products and getting them into the country is too high to justify the small number of people who need specialty drugs. Moreover, the budget for their reimbursement is very small.
For the 30% living in poverty and almost 50% on the brink, sometimes getting life-saving medicine can be a struggle, especially if it is a rare condition or when the treatment is not included in the reimbursement list.
A recent study by IQVIA revealed that Albania has the lowest rate of new drugs in the region, far behind North Macedonia with 11 approved drugs and Serbia with 17.
But it is not only drugs for rare diseases or cancer that cannot be bought locally, as this also applies to drugs for conditions such as depression, blood and heart diseases and ADHD.