Band C drugs
Class C drugs are all those drugs whose cost CANNOT be reimbursed by the National Health System (SSN) and is therefore fully borne by the citizen.
Generally, drugs belonging to group C are drugs used for the treatment of minor ailments and pathologies, therefore, they are considered non-essential drugs.
Subsequently, a "further class was created in band C: band C-bis, which includes the so-called self-medication drugs.
The method of dispensing class C drugs varies according to the type of active ingredient prescribed. In fact, the category of Class C drugs includes both medicines with Obligation of Medical Prescription (more simply defined "OP drugs"), and medicines that can be dispensed without "Obligation of Medical Prescription" (otherwise defined as "SOP drugs").
Certain types of drugs whose use is permitted only in hospitals or similar structures, or only in hospitals by identified specialists, according to the provisions of the Regions or Autonomous Provinces (drugs with supply regime OSP, OSPL and USPL).
As mentioned, the cost of class C drugs is fully borne by the citizen. However, there are particular cases in which these drugs can be reimbursed by the National Health System.
More specifically, some active ingredients belonging to the category of class C drugs are reimbursable by the NHS only in the event that the patient - for whom these active ingredients are prescribed - is suffering from particular pathologies or is in certain health conditions.
The control of the reimbursement of drugs is carried out by the State through a specially designed tool: the AIFA notes (notes from the Italian Medicines Agency). These notes establish in which cases and for which types of pathologies a certain class C drug can be dispensed paid by the National Health System.
Therefore, a Class C drug can be reimbursed by the State only and exclusively if the doctor prescribes it for the treatment of pathologies and conditions covered by the aforementioned AIFA notes.
To better understand this concept, an example will be shown below.
Pantoprazole, lansoprazole, esomeprazole and omeprazole are gastroprotective drugs that are mainly used in the prevention and treatment of peptic ulcer. Normally, these drugs are dispensed at the expense of the citizen, except for the case in which patients for which these active ingredients are prescribed fall within one of the conditions set out in note 1 of the AIFA (need to prevent serious complications of the upper gastrointestinal tract in the case of chronic treatment with NSAIDs or in the case of antiplatelet therapy with low-dose acetylsalicylic acid, but only if the patient is of advanced age, has a previous history of gastrointestinal bleeding or peptic ulcer not cured with eradication therapy and / or is undergoing concomitant therapy with anticoagulants or cortisone).