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Política Nacional / 27/07/2021


Bolsonaro vetoes project that facilitated access to cancer drugs

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Bolsonaro vetoes project that facilitated access to cancer drugs

Government claimed that the measure could cause problems of "legal security" in the market for health plans. Senator Reguffe, author of the proposal, considers the decision "absurd". FenaSaúde states that "there will be no care loss" for beneficiaries

President Jair Bolsonaro vetoed a bill that facilitated access to oral cancer drugs through health plans. The proposal had been approved by the National Congress at the beginning of the month. After the presidential veto, it will be up to the Legislature to maintain or overthrow him.

In July, the bill, authored by senator Antônio Reguffe (Podemos-DF), was approved in the Chamber of Deputies by 388 votes to 10. In the Federal Senate, the text was unanimously approved in 2020 by the 74 senators present at the session .

According to the government's justification for the veto, the project could compromise the market for health plans by not observing aspects such as "predictability", "transparency" and "legal security".

In addition, the Executive states that the text could "create discrepancies in the treatment of technologies and, consequently, in the access of beneficiaries to the treatment they need, favoring patients affected by cancer diseases".

Transfer of costs

According to the government, another effect of the project would be "the inevitable transfer of these additional costs to consumers, in order to make health plans even more expensive, in addition to bringing risks to the maintenance of private coverage to current beneficiaries, particularly the poorest ".

The rule currently in force provides that, for home treatment, the drug must only be paid for by the health plan if approved by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) and by the National Agency for Supplementary Health (ANS).

The ANS, however, takes more than a year to review the list of medicines that will be paid for by health plans. Proponents of the project say that time is too long.

If Bolsonaro sanctioned the text, the requirement to include the drug in the ANS protocols would be removed, and the health plan would have to provide the treatment based on the Anvisa registration.

"absurd" decision

Author of the bill, Senator Reguffe called Bolsonaro's decision to veto the text "absurd" and said that "Congress needs to overturn the veto for the good of millions of cancer patients who need oral chemotherapy."

“It is more expensive to pay a hospital stay for the patient to take chemotherapy in a vein in the hospital than to guarantee the pills for them to take orally at home. It is also more comfortable to take medicine at home than to go to the hospital. Not to mention possible infections resulting hospitalizations. There are millions of lives that are at stake. The veto is an absurd decision”, said the senator, in an interview with Correio.

He also informed that "we are going to work to overthrow the veto, together with the patient and oncologist associations that are also mobilized".


In a statement, the National Federation of Supplementary Health (FenaSaúde) defends the presidential veto of the project. The entity considers the decision "appropriate, above all, for the safety of patients. The automatic inclusion provided for in the bill would affect one of the pillars of the functioning of supplementary health and would harm the sustainability of a system that assists more than 48 million people."

“There will be no loss of assistance for beneficiaries, since the plans already offer 58 oral cancer drugs for the treatment of cancer, in addition to all the intravenous drugs available on the market. The desired speed of incorporations - which has always been the main justification of the bill - is also already assured by a change in the rites of analysis carried out recently by the ANS, which maintained the best practices adopted in the most advanced health systems worldwide" , concludes the note.

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