Dr Tiziana Fattori of Per Vedere Fatti Vedere onlus in Italy explains the reasons behind the launch of a campaign to abolish bureaucratic procedures inhibiting patients from undertaking treatment for glaucoma.
Between 2004/5 a specific procedure for patients to obtain a National Health Service 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.
Under the current procedure once a year, but in some regions even twice or three times a year, every patient suffering from glaucoma has to submit their therapeutic plan, drafted and signed by a MD Ophthalmologist, listing all the medicines used for treating glaucoma. This document must be draft in three copies: one copy needs to be handled to his/her NHS doctor, 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 both for patients, doctors and NHS.
Alarmingly, a recent research undertaken in Emilia Romagna has shown that, since this procedure is in place, an increasing percentage of glaucoma patients are not taking up 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.
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 email- to AIFA and the Ministry of Health asking the abolition of this oppressive burden currently imposed on glaucoma patients. Whoever wants to participate in our campaign can visit our website www.pervederefattivedere.it download the message of protest and fax/email details and send their message.. A strong media coverage is also planned to support this campaign.
Tiziana Fattori can be contacted at
Tel: +39 06 44361575