Epileptics Remain Stigmatized, Their Medicines Are in Short Supply, Parents and Physicians Complain
February 14 (BTA) - Epileptics remain stigmatized nowadays and medicines against the disease are in short supply, according to parents of children with epilepsy and physicians active in treating the disorder, who were interviewed in connection with International Epilepsy Day. Seventeen epilepsy medicines have disappeared from the Bulgarian market over the last few years, said Veska Sabeva, President of the Association of Parents of Children with Epilepsy (APCE).
Bulgarian Epilepsy Society (BES) Chair Petya Dimova said there are still big problems related to the accessibility to many medicines. Treatment for autoimmune epilepsy is hindered by its absence off the lists of autoimmune disorders, rare disorders or epilepsies. Patients suffering from autoimmune epilepsy have to pay for their medicines as the costs are not covered by health insurance, Dimova said.
One out of three epileptics suffer from severe forms of the disease. Unregulated trade in such medicines continues, and in some cases the medicines are life-saving, she said.
MEP Tsvetelina Penkova said the challenges are not only medical but also social. International Epilepsy Day provides an occasion to raise public awareness and see how each member of society can help, Penkova added.
She noted that an EU accessibility centre, which is to be built by 2030, will make it possible to hold awareness campaigns at the EU level and will provide better access to buildings, services and social activities for epileptics.
Deputy Health Minister Peter Gribnev asked BES and APCE to send their proposals in writing. MY/VE