A retiree discovered that the medications he had been taking for years to treat his cancer were no longer reimbursed by social security. Faced with an exorbitant price, he had to give up treatment.
Jean-Pierre suffers from lung cancer and has been under treatment for ten years. But this septuagenarian who lives in Favières, in Lorraine, is experiencing a dramatic situation: he cannot afford to pay for his medication, which costs 600 euros. “I fought against an illness, now I have to fight to cure myself,” he told BFMTV.
It was last April that the retiree realized that IRESSA 250 mg, from the AstraZeneca laboratory, was only reimbursed at 60%, or the price of the generic. “At 1,390 euros per box, there are 635 euros left to pay,” according to our colleagues at Lorraine Republican. Jean-Pierre then decides to test generic drugs, made from the same molecule. But the side effects are too great. For him, it is “impossible to take them”. Jean-Pierre tried to contact social security, who told him, according to the septuagenarian, that he “has no other choice but to pay or contact the laboratory to see if they can give him a price “.
“For two months, I have not taken any treatment”
Desperate, he called his deputy, the Astra Zeneca laboratory and even Aurélien Rousseau, the Minister of Health. “For two months, I have not taken any treatment,” he wrote in a letter. But the man had no response. “I don’t take care of myself anymore. Since Social Security wants to save money, and it will, I will no longer cost them anything,” he ended up telling our colleagues.
The Public Health Code stipulates that a patient can keep the original medication if they have a contraindication to each of the available generics. The National Health Insurance Fund, however, assured BFMTV that the appeal did not apply to Jean-Pierre’s case.