On July 3, 2023, in the premises of the Union of Associations of Pensioners of Macedonia, and in the organization of SZPM (“Сојуз на здруженијата на пензионерите на Македонија”) and the American Chamber of Commerce in North Macedonia, a meeting was held in response to the initiative of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia for finding a possible solution for healthcare improvements through update of the positive list of medicines.
At the meeting, Stanka Trajkova – President of the SZPM Board of Directors, Jelena Arsovska – Executive Director of AmCham, and Dr. Aleksandra Ivanovska – President of the AmCham Healthcare Committee emphasised that the Health Insurance Fund’s list of medicines has not been updated for 15 years and stressed out the need for replacing the outdated medicines with new ones, without delay. As a long-term solution, suggestions include an open and transparent system for updating the positive list of medicines, with a goal of reimbursing the process of adding novel medicines to the Health Insurance Fund’s list.
The meeting’s discussing also covered the Rulebook, the method and methodology for determining and adopting the Health Insurance Fund’s list of medicines, which was adopted in March 2023, and the importance of considering healthcare as an investment rather than an expense.
This Rulebook presents basis for a long-term, sustainable solution for providing the necessary medicines for all citizens, and a possibility to establish a functional and sustainable system for regular renewal of the list of medicines. A frequent update of the positive list of medicines benefits the patients and the healthcare system. In such way, health authorities have more control over the budget, patients have access to medicines, and doctors are given the opportunity to prescribe the best treatment. Since the positive list of medicines has not been updated in several years, patients in the Republic of North Macedonia continue to receive obsolete therapy even if many new medicines have been registered.
As a next step, it is expected that a Commission for the positive list will be formed and a solution will be found for updating the list and supplementing it with new medicines, and for this purpose simplification of the procedures is necessary.