Cuban authorities announced that 46 percent of the items in the 2021 Basic Medicine Chart (BMC) will be subsidized to avoid affecting the population amid the U.S. blockade and the economic reforms starting on January 1st.
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Health Ministry representative Emilio Delgado informed that the new BMC is made up of 619 products gathered in three main groups.
Placed in groups number 1 and 2, medicines associated with chronic diseases and permanent treatments, natural and traditional medicines, and optical products will maintain their current price and will be subsidized by the State.
These the first group contains 85 medicines used by over 3.4 million patients. About US$22.2 million are destined to purchase 23 imported medicines included in this group.
The second group includes 77 drugs for patients with neurological and psychiatric diseases, nephropathy, HIV, and terminal cancer, among others.
In the case of HIV patients, Delgado pointed out that US$3.6 million are destined to purchase 17 antiretrovirals that are sold in the pharmacies out of charge. Sanitary pads, condoms, colostomy bags, urine collection bags, glucometers for diabetic patients, and other similar products will also maintain their price.
"Despite the currency devaluation, these prices will not change... because public health as a free, universal, and quality service for all Cubans is something that will not change," Finance Minister Meisi Bolaños said.
The Health Ministry will import 254 basic medicines while 365 items will be produced by the national pharmaceutical industry.