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Russian regions outside of Moscow have been slashing spending on cancer treatment as drug costs rise.
Russian daily Izvestia reported spending has been slashed in over half of Russia’s 85 regions for oncology.
Some areas cut funds by almost half, with the Far-Easter region of Sakhalin decreasing their annual spending by 48.5 percent. The Khanty-Mansi region saw spending decrease by 47.9 percent, while the Magadan Region cut spending by 39 percent, reported The Moscow Times.
“In Russia, there is no general standard of care for cancer patients,” David Melik-Huseynov, Director of Russia’s Institute of Healthcare and Medical Management, said.
“The same drugs are needed to treat cancer, regardless of where a patient lives. But everything depends on regional budgets.”
Cancer drug availability has also been hurt due to tight controls on pain killers, which have caused some patients to commit suicide rather than be forced to deal with the pain.