Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Brazil adds 5 Rheumatoid Arthritis drug to SUS

The new drugs now offered by SUS for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) are BMY's Orencia (abatacept), UCB's Cimzia (certolizumab), MRK's Simponi (golimumab), Roche's Rituxan (rituximab) and Actemra (tocilizumab).  Currently, the unified health system offers ten (10) drugs for the treatment of the disease in fifteen (15) different formulations. From these, three are biological drugs (adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab), which are used by approximately 30 thousand people today.
The Ministry of Health currently spends on average BRL 25,000 for each patient using biological medicines every year. With the inclusion of five new drugs in the SUS, and negotiations with the Pharma companies involved, the treatment cost per patient is expected to decrease to almost half or BRL 13,000 per patient, per year. In 2011, the Ministry of Health invested BRL 1 billion in biological medicines for rheumatoid arthritis disease. 
The Brazilian National Health System, known as SUS, is universal. This means that it provides free access to heath care to all 191 million Brazilians