NEWS BRIEFS

Patients decrease drug dosages

PATIENTS are decreasing or halting the use of some drugs because they are too expensive, the Pravda daily wrote.

Under the new rules introduced as part of Slovakia's health reform, Slovak patients now pay supplementary charges for certain drugs, usually a fraction of the total value of the medication, but which may vary depending on the type of drug.

A survey carried out by the Association for the Protection of Patients' Rights showed that 15 percent of patients decreased their dosages or stopped using drugs altogether, while another 30 percent asked their doctors to prescribe them cheaper alternatives.

Average monthly expenditures for drugs reach Sk434 (€10.9) and patients with long-term illnesses pay Sk580 (€14.6). Patients would consider Sk300 (€7.6) a bearable sum.

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