Leukemia medication added to government formulary

The government has pledged to add all cancer medication to its formualry list by 2020 

The anti-leukemia drug Azacitidine has been added to the government’s formulary, meaning that it will be available for free to Maltese patients.

The drug will be used as an alternative medication to elderly leukemia patients, who for some reason cannot be given the standard treatment. 

It will also be given to outpatients, meaning that they will be able to self-inject instead of visiting Mater Dei for blood transfusion. It is also expected to lead to a decline in the demand for blood transfusion will decline.

“We believe that we should help people who are passing through such hard times in their lives as much as possible,” health minister Chris Fearne said in a statement. “Indeed, the government has allocated €3 million in this year’s budget specifically to acquire cancer medication.”

Fearne pledged in March that the government will add all cancer medication on its formulary list by 2020. Azacitidine is the fourth such drug that has been made available for free this year, following in the footsteps of Capecitabine, Mitomycin, and Enzaultamide.