As elsewhere in the developed world, the average life expectancy for Czech men and women has been growing, but the sad news is that they are not spending their old age in good health. The Czech Health Ministry is ringing alarm bells and focussing on campaigns that will raise awareness of the health risks responsible for serious illnesses in the aging population.
Biotech companies within the PPF Group, controlled by Czech billionaire Petr Kellner, are reporting advances in efforts to extend the lives of cancer patients. The companies Sotio and Cytune Pharma announced on Thursday that they had started the first trial dosing of cancer patients with SO-C101, a superagonist fusion protein of interleukin IL-15.
The Czech lower house of Parliament has approved a cabinet proposal that
would see medical marihuana mostly covered by public health insurance.
According to the proposal, which will now go to the Senate, insurers would cover 90 percent of the cost of for medical marihuana per month on a maximum of 30 grams per patient.
MPs rejected an amendment by Pirate deputy Tomáš Vymazal to make the payment 100 percent and set the monthly limit at 180 grams.
Czech scientists have created artificial DNA that with further development
could help combat disease by replacing problematic strands.
Researchers at the Academy of Sciences and Charles University say that by using chemical reactions, in theory the artificial DNA could be substituted for actual strands of human DNA to halt the advance of various diseases.
Experiments in transferring the light-sensitive, artificial DNA have not yet been carried out on living cells or organisms.
Professor Jiří Neužil is one of the Czech Republic’s leading specialists in cancer research. His research teams at the Biotechnological Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences and Griffith University in Australia have focused on a novel approach in the fight against incurable forms of breast cancer: eradicating cancer cells by targeting mitochondria. Should the resulting new drug, now being tested on patients in Prague, prove effective it could lead to a major breakthrough in cancer therapy.
The Czech minister of health, ANO-appointee Adam Vojtěch, says his
ministry will propose legislation under which the state would pay for 90
percent of the cost of medical marijuana. The maximum amount covered under
the scheme would be 30 grams a month. At present patients using medical
marijuana are themselves responsible for the entire cost.
Last year an average of 67 patients a month were prescribed medical marijuana. Average usage was 6.3 grams a month. However, some patients complain that the permitted dosage is insufficient for their needs.
A lack of certain medicines is impacting patients and doctors in the Czech
Republic, Czech Television reported. In response the Ministry of Health
aims to introduce stiff financial penalties for pharmaceutical suppliers
who make deliveries two or more days late.
However, the Pharmacy Chamber says such measures would be unnecessary. Its leaders argue that it would be sufficient to bar the export of specific drugs from the Czech Republic more frequently.
At present there is a shortage of the heart medicine Digoxin, though it is expected to appear in Czech pharmacies next week after the distributor decided to import it from Slovakia. Standard supplies will resume at the start of February.
The Czech Chamber of Pharmacists says it will sue the State Institute for
Drug Control over late delivery of drugs, unless the institute takes action
against distributors who fail to deliver medicines on time. According to
the law they are bound to deliver ordered pharmaceuticals within two days.
Health Minister Adam Vojtech told Czech Television the ministry is aware of the gravity of the problem and is preparing a law according to which drug producers, rather than distributers, would be held accountable for late deliveries of drugs ordered.