Doctors banned from prescribing medicines

The President of the Portuguese Medical Association, José Manuel Silva, has stated that some doctors are being prohibited from prescribing certain medicines for patients, which he considers “unacceptable”.

He gave the example of hepatitis C medicines, which increase healing rates by 30 to 40% but are still forbidden in some hospitals yet administered in others.

The President of the Portuguese Bioethics Association, Rui Nunes, also commented: “We can’t allow two hospitals, one across the street from the other, to have different policies. Who’s in charge of this country?”.

After several news reports involving controversy about medical supplies in some Portuguese hospitals (see last week’s Algarve Resident), the Ministry of Health has said they know nothing of any cases of forbidden medicines in public hospitals connected with the National Health System (SNS).

In a press statement sent to Lusa news agency, the Government has asked José Manuel Silva to clarify which hospitals, doctors and medicines are involved in the alleged cases.