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A breast cancer patient wrote a petition to the Minister of Health regarding reimbursement of trastuzumab derukstecan

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Women with advanced breast cancer cannot count on the most modern drug trastuzumab derukstecan, called the “Trojan horse”, which is not reimbursed in our country. One of the patients sent a petition to the Minister of Health on this matter. Material of the magazine “Polska i Świat”.

– I try to live as normally as possible, I enjoy every day – says Aleksandra Wiederek-Barańska, who has advanced breast cancer. She found out about the disease when she was a young mother. “From the mode of a person who was entering adulthood and could start a professional career, I had to press pause and focus on fighting for my life,” she says.

On the Internet, she shows what the everyday life of an oncological patient looks like. She encourages and educates, and has recently become the voice of other breast cancer patients. In the petition to the Minister of Health, he writes about a breakthrough, extremely effective drug and calls for its reimbursement.

Aleksandra Wiederek-BarańskaInstagram/olawiederekbaranska

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– We, Polish patients, are often at the end of the list and do not have access to these modern cancer therapies – points out Aleksandra Wiederek-Barańska.

“Trojan horse” of oncology

The woman takes trastuzumab derukstecan, a drug that for two years has been at the top of the list of therapies that, according to specialists, should become reimbursement priorities.

The president of the Polish Society of Clinical Oncology, Professor Piotr Wysocki, explains that trastuzumab derukstecan “introduces many times more cytotoxic drug molecules into the cell”. – The drug extends the lives of cancer patients, prolongs progression-free survival, which is, to put it simply, the time when the disease is controlled – explains Dr. Barbara Radecka from the Opole Oncology Center.

The drug is even called the “Trojan horse of oncology.” – Last year, at the largest oncology conference in the world, the results of one study were greeted with a standing ovation. So this is a drug that not only we doctors are waiting for, but also the entire patient community, says Dr. Joanna Kufel-Grabowska from the Medical University of Gdańsk.

The drug is already reimbursed, among others, in Austria, BelgiumBulgaria, GermanyGreece or Norway. – For me, this is life. If it wasn’t for this medicine, I wouldn’t be talking here – says Elżbieta Kołodziejczyk, who is undergoing treatment in Norway.

She financed the first four infusions herself, because the refund did not cover her cancer. The results confirmed that the drug works, I take it for free. – One vial costs about PLN 15,000. I must have four vials – adds Elżbieta Kołodziejczyk.

Negotiations on drug reimbursement

The Ministry of Health, in response to journalists’ questions, states that the President of the Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Tariff Systems did not recommend the reimbursement of the drug on the proposed financial terms.

– The patient’s life is on the line, and on the other hand there is money. Thanks to people of good will, I collected money, and how many patients are there who will not collect it? – Elzbieta Kolodziejczyk wonders.

The manufacturer of the drug informs journalists that the final stage of the reimbursement process is underway and talks are underway with the Ministry of Health. “We sincerely hope that during the meeting scheduled for early August we will be able to find an agreement that will allow Polish patients to access this therapy as soon as possible” – said Urszula Żurek-Kucharska from AstraZeneca.

– You have to believe that this petition will make a difference. I hope that my illness is not senseless, it has some higher purpose – says Aleksandra Wiederek-Barańska. Over 4,000 people signed her petition in just a few days.

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