Italian campaign to abolish red tape, help patients with glaucoma

March 12, 2009

Rome-Tiziana Fattori, MD, of Per Vedere Fatti Vedere onlus in Italy explained the reasons behind the launch of a campaign to abolish bureaucratic procedures inhibiting patients from undertaking treatment for glaucoma.

Rome-Tiziana Fattori, MD, of Per Vedere Fatti Vedere Onlus in Italy, explained the reasons behind the launch of a campaign to abolish bureaucratic procedures inhibiting patients from undertaking treatment for glaucoma.

“Between 2004 and 2005 a specific procedure for patients to obtain a National Health Service (NHS) reimbursement for medicines used in glaucoma treatment was established in Italy. This procedure is called Nota 78 and is subject to the control of AIFA, the Italian agency for pharmaceutical products,” Dr. Fattori added.

“Under the current procedure once a year, but in some regions even twice or three times a year, every patient with glaucoma has to submit a therapeutic plan, drafted and signed by an ophthalmologist, that lists all the medicines used for treating glaucoma,” Dr. Fattori said. “This document must be drafted in three copies: one copy needs to be handed to his or her NHS physician, one copy sent to the NHS, and one copy kept in a file. Only if you undertake this cumbersome procedure can you obtain the NHS reimbursement for your glaucoma treatment. The therapeutic plan is always the same, given the chronic nature of the disease and therefore it does not make any sense to repeat the procedure on a regular basis, producing an enormous paperwork and waste of time for patients, physicians, and NHS.

“Alarmingly, recent research undertaken in Emilia Romagna has shown that, since this procedure [has been] in place, an increasing percentage of glaucoma patients are not taking any treatment for glaucoma, most likely due to having to cope with this bureaucratic and absurd procedure, typical of some ancient inheritance of our country,” he added.

“So, on World Glaucoma Day, Per Vedere Fatti Vedere Onlus is inviting Italian glaucoma patients, their families, NHS doctors, and ophthalmologists to send a message of protest-by fax or e-mail to AIFA and the Ministry of Health asking the abolition of this oppressive burden currently imposed on patients with glaucoma. Whoever wants to participate in the campaign can visit our Web site www.pervederefattivedere.it, download the message of protest, and fax or e-mail details and send their message.”

Media coverage also is planned to support this campaign.

Dr. Fattori may be contacted by phone at +39 06 44361575 or e-mail at fattori@pervederefattivedere.it.