Patient to file lawsuit against BPJS Kesehatan over stripped chemotherapy drug
Karina M. Tehusijarana
The Jakarta Post
A cancer patient is set to go forward with her lawsuit against the Healthcare and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) after it withdrew its coverage of cancer drug trastuzumab.
East Jakarta resident Yuniarti Tanjung, who was diagnosed with stage three HER2 breast cancer, and her husband Edy Haryadi decided to proceed with the lawsuit after their legal team met with representatives from BPJS Kesehatan on Monday. The meeting aimed to look for an out-of-court solution, but discussions were not fruitful.
“BPJS still adamantly refuses to cover trastuzumab for HER2 breast cancer patients from April 1, 2018, even though we have reminded them that would be the same as taking our client’s life,” Edy’s attorney, Rusdianto Matulatuwa, said in a statement on Monday.
Yuniarti was diagnosed on May 10 and was prescribed with trastuzumab and three other chemotherapy drugs on June 24. However, because the drug had been removed from the agency’s coverage list, the family would have to pay Rp 25 million (US$1,700) to obtain the medication.
“Edy Haryadi and Juniarti have agreed to try and find justice before the law,” Rusidanto said adding that the legal team planned to file the lawsuit at the Central Jakarta District Court next week.
They also plan to name President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as one of the defendants as according to the BPJS Law, the agency’s board of directors answers to the President, Rusdianto said.
The couple believes that trastuzumab is critical to her survival, but the BPJS claimed that its decision was based on scientific research.
BPJS spokesman Nopie Hidayat told The Jakarta Post recently that the Clinical Consideration Council (DPK) had concluded that providing trastuzumab to breast cancer patients was not justifiable. (rin)
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