MADRID – Simply not being able to pay for medication for high blood pressure, for example, is something that affects more and more people in Spain. 1.2 million Spaniards have been affected since the pandemic and experts expect this number to rise further in 2022.
The consequences of the corona pandemic in Spain are many. One such consequence is at the moment 1.2 million people no longer take their regular medication. This is because they simply cannot afford the costs of treatment.
Madrid neighborhood association sees increasing demand for medication
‘La Incolora’ is a neighbourhood association in Madrid. It told the Spanish news site La Sexta that more people are knocking on doors for food parcels. And, also there is an increasing demand for certain medications. Several examples are given of elderly people who are no longer able to buy their medication or essential products. These include adult diapers being too costly on their minimal pension benefits.
Consequences can be fatal, according to Spanish doctor
“If people stop taking their medicines for treatable conditions, such as asthma, high blood pressure, or diabetes, this can be fatal,” a Spanish doctor told La Sexta. The most obvious consequence is that taking too little or not taking medication will lead to organ damage. This could mean damage to vision, heart, or kidneys.
As a result of this situation, La Incolora managed to reach around fifty people in need on its own initiative in order to be able to help them. However, shortly after the start of the project, it had to be put on hold due to lack of funding. While this initiative is wonderful, this problem is difficult to solve by private organisations and needs to be tackled or coordinated nationally.
Organisation sees increasing demand for help financing medication
The example of the organisation in Madrid does not stand alone; de Banco Farmacéutico is a non-profit organisation created to help these types of people. Currently, this organisation is already serving patients in Catalonia, Aragon, and Madrid. Yet the Banco Farmacéutico also sees this kind of poverty continues to increase. A spokesperson for the organisation told La Sexta that there has been a 30% increase in demand for the need to fund medicines since the pandemic.
End not yet in sight in Spain
Due to rising costs, mainly in living expenses, the Banco Farmacéutico expects this type of poverty to increase further by 2022, affecting approximately 1.4 million people in Spain.