In the video: submission of the medicine basket for 2022 (photo: L.A.M., editing: Aviad Belali)
"We don't know how much time is left": Rinat needs innovative treatment for cancer, 7-year-old David just wants to get rid of the pain
"We don't know how much time is left":
After more than three months of discussions, today (Monday) the last committee of the medicine basket for 2023 was held. In the discussion, the experts of the Ministry of Health dealt with 200 medicines and technologies costing about three billion shekels.
This, after last weekend the largest increase ever given to the basket was approved, amounting to one hundred million shekels.
The final medicine basket will be revealed tomorrow.
One of the issues that agitated the members of the committee in this year's discussions is whether to include in the medicine basket payment for an ambulance for a sexual victim who is evacuated to an acute room and is not hospitalized.
This, unlike a normal patient who has to pay for evacuation by ambulance if he was not admitted to a hospital.
The budget for such cases is not large, but deviates from the principle of equality between patients.
Other treatments that were at the center of the committee's discussion were about financing eyeglasses for children and vaccination for shingles.
The budget increase brought by Health Minister Aryeh Deri is expected to go into the basket in the middle of this year and will probably be allocated to budgeting for a vaccine against the meningococcal bacterium, which causes meningitis and may lead to disability and death, especially among toddlers up to the age of five.
It is a rare but deadly disease, the vaccine against which is very expensive and the budget increase is indeed appropriate.
managed to increase the addition of 100 million shekels to the basket.
Deri (Photo: Flash 90, Yonatan Zindel)
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New treatments discussed by the committee are "Libatio" and "Enharto".
Libitio is an innovative treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer patients.
It is the most common type of cancer in the world.
However, while most of its cases are detected in early stages that allow for a complete cure, some patients reach a state of metastatic disease that cannot be cured.
The new drug mobilizes the ability of the immune system to recognize the cancer cells in the body and attack them.
As every year, there were heated discussions about life-prolonging drugs for terminal oncology patients, especially for breast cancer patients, assuming that these drugs come at the expense of drugs that can save lives or prevent fatal diseases for other patients.
One of the drugs "Anharto" is intended for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer.
A study published this year found that the drug given to the patients was able to reduce mortality among the patients by 36% compared to the existing treatment.
The treatment was submitted to the Hasel discussions after it was proven to significantly extend the lives of patients and was considered a breakthrough.
In light of the results, the members of the committee were exposed to the results of the studies even before they were published.
"A few months before the news that changed my life, I underwent comprehensive tests that came out completely normal," says Rinat Zolti, 47, from Petach Tikva, who had metastatic breast cancer.
She hopes that the drug "Anharto" will be included in the medicine basket.
"It all started four years ago.
I felt a strange lump in my breast, I stressed and shared with my husband," she shares. "A few days later I went in for a series of tests and hoped it was early-stage cancer.
When the results arrived it turned out that I was in the fourth stage, the disease had spread to the bones, the spine and there is no cure - the treatment is for life.
The test also revealed that the cancer I had was HER2 type breast cancer."
Later Rinat also shares that her biggest difficulty is taking care of the children.
"More than I take care of myself, I take care of my three children. I knew that a lot of things were going to change and I have no idea how long I have left to live. I had my ovaries removed and in addition I received chemotherapy along with biological and hormonal treatment. After a few months of intensive treatments, the disease seemed to regress."
"This drug can give me and other breast cancer patients hope."
Rinat Zolti (Photo: Courtesy of those photographed, Ben Ami Foundation)
Rinat is under constant surveillance, but recently metastases were discovered in her head.
"The new findings made dealing with it more difficult, I had to undergo radiation treatments and receive a new biological treatment. I do not lose hope and despite the difficulty I hope that the members of the committee will include the treatment in this year's basket. This drug can give me and other patients hope."
Mali Dehan, the mother of seven-year-old David, who was diagnosed with diabetes last March, is impatiently waiting for the decision of the Medicines Basket Committee to include the "artificial pancreas" system in the basket.
"My child feels that he would rather die and he is only seven years old. He is in danger of life and could die at any moment, but the health insurance fund adamantly refuses to approve the system that will save him because it is not in the basket."
"The Artificial Pancreas"
The "artificial pancreas" system is a system that is able to correct the sugar values automatically, so the patient can eat even without checking the sugar values and being injected many times a day.
The system balances and stabilizes the patient and is especially good for children who need constant adult supervision.
"My son's story is simply fantastic," shared his mother, "David has a C1A of 10.3, which means that he is in a life-threatening situation at any given moment. The big trouble is that his body does not feel at all when he is in extreme situations. Not when the sugar is very high and not when low which actually requires me to be close to him all day and all night. And that's before all the health consequences that will be affected by his extreme imbalance.
"He stabs himself endless times a day and is constantly dealing with his illness."
David Ben HaSheva (photo: courtesy of the family, courtesy of the family)
"He stabs himself endless times a day and just constantly deals with his illness. Even at night, I get up every two hours to wake him up to do an examination. Which makes life for all of us a nightmare. When David started telling me sentences like 'I'd rather die than live like this ' and 'why did this happen to me?' I rushed to take him to a psychiatrist because I was just scared," she said.
"How can you look from the side and see your child so sad, frustrated and giving up on himself," said Meli.
"With the help of this treatment, he can go with friends, go on trips and conduct himself normally while I am in full control of his condition all the time."
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