Portugal to spend €32.7 million on anti-Covid drugs

Law published in government gazette applies to expenditure for this year

The Government has authorized an expenditure of up to 32,7 million euros for the purchase of anti-Covid-19 drugs this year, according to a law published today in government gazette Diário da República.

The resolution, signed by the prime minister, António Costa, states that “given the evolution of the pandemic situation, it is important to ensure that the Portuguese State can acquire, during the year 2022, medicines against the Covid-19 disease necessary for the Portuguese public to have access to these therapeutic options for disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus”.

The expense is financed by funds from REACT-EU (the Assistance to Recovery for Cohesion and Territories of Europe initiative), which will also see the acquisition of the drug Remdesivir, as well as see another €4 million go on vaccines.

The diploma states that although vaccination against Covid-19 is the best way to prevent infection, the most serious forms of the disease, loss of life and long-term consequences, and to “end the pandemic and return to a normal life, it is important to ensure that therapies are available to treat those infected.

Therapeutic options currently available are ‘monoclonal antibodies’, ‘oral antivirals’ and ‘immunomodulators’.

Seven marketing authorisations have already been granted, but access to these medicines will only be granted through centralised procurement procedures under the Covid-19 Therapeutics Strategy, which is managed by the European Commission, or through procurement procedures undertaken directly by each member state in line with the same strategy.