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The pharmaceutical expense dropped 30 million euros in Navarra between 2012 and 2013.

Academic experts and representatives of the Government of Navarra debated the "right to health" at the University of Navarra

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From left to right: Ángel Ruiz de Apodaca, Iñigo Alli, José López Guzmán, María Cristina Agudo and Antonio Pardo. PHOTO:
Manuel Castells
26/03/14 15:46 Miriam Salcedo

On the occasion of the roundtable held at the University of Navarra on "Right to Health", María Cristina Agudo, head of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Service of the Health department of the Government of Navarra, stated that"with the implementation of the co-payment, the consumption of non-financed medicines fell from 30% to 50% between 2012 and 2013". Agudo showed the results of a report that the department of Health of the Government of Navarra has carried out on the impact of copayment in the Foral Community during its first year of implementation. From the data he highlighted the "drop of 30 million euros in the pharmaceutical expense between 2012 and 2013", and that they are studying the possible impact on health.

Also participating in the roundtable were Íñigo Alli, Counselor of Social Policies of the Government of Navarra; and University of Navarra professors Antonio Pardo (Education Medical and Bioethics) and Ángel Ruiz de Apodaca (Administrative Law). José López Guzmán, also professor of Humanities Pharmaceutics, moderated the session.           

More than 200 people attended the meeting organized by the classroom of Pharmacy internship of the School of Pharmacy in which, in addition to the co-payment, there was a debate on what is understood today by health,"a concept impregnated with subjective aspects, which becomes something different for each subject," according to López Guzmán. A controversy from which issues such as "quality of life", "medicalization" or the move from contemplating the "right to the attendance sanitara" as a "right to health" arise.

Medicalization, attendance and rights

Along with co-payment, the purpose of which is "the rational use of medicines", María Cristina Agudo also took the opportunity to mention a problem affecting today's society: medicalization, i.e., treating non-medical problems as illnesses, with the consequent consumption of medicines. According to manager of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Service, "for the critics of the medicalization to which society is subjected, there is no longer a healthy person, but rather an unidentified sick person".

On the other hand, in order to care for the identified patient, Antonio Pardo, an expert in Education Médica y Bioética, pointed out that"the primary thing for the physician is his duty to attend", for which he stressed that dialogue with the patient is fundamental: "One must ask oneself how this person lives". In this regard, he clarified that in healthcare "justice is not the same for everyone, but different for everyone according to their lifestyle".

The other side of health is rights. To delve deeper into this, Ángel Ruiz de Apodaca, professor at Administrative Law, cited article 43 of the Spanish Constitution, which recognizes the right to health protection, a range of benefits that the expert grouped into "the right to be treated as a person and the right to health treatment". On the application of the laws, the Councilor Íñigo Allí, through the case method, presented the attendees with an exercise on how Navarre, by virtue of its foral regime, can complement the regulations approved by the State in subject sanitary matters.