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Breakthrough medicines included into the NHI benefit package: more options for rare childhood cancers.

  The NHIA held ‘Pharmaceutical Benefit and Reimbursement Scheme Joint committee’ (hereinafter referred to as PBRS). Medical professionals, representatives from user groups and patients have worked in collaboration to include several new medicines into the NHI benefits and extension of the coverage scopes. New medicines for NTRK gene fusion tumors and Parkinson’s Disease are now included in the benefits. Furthermore, people with moderate-severe or severe Alzheimer’s disease can take the two-in-one medicine for dementia; ADHD medications have been approved for adults; antimicrobial drugs for community-acquired pneumonia have been extended to newborns and infants younger than two months of age.
  PBRS has reached consensus on covering TRK fusion inhibitor, which contains larotrectinib and is suitable for all kinds of cancers. Since children tend to have strong reactions, the medicines are applicable to all children (younger than 18 years of age) with NTRK gene fusion tumors. It is expected that in the coming five years, there will be 10-23 patients benefiting from this new medicine every year.
  The new medicine for Parkinson’s disease, developed by a local pharmaceutical company, containing sustained-release capsules such as Carbidopa and Levodopa, has obtained the US patent with its release mechanism and dose rate. The medical effect is fast yet steady, and the volatility index is rather low. The new medicine is able to improve issues incurred after the medical effects wear off and on-off phenomenon. It is expected that in the coming five years, there will be 900-2600 patients benefiting from this new medicine every year.
  According to the guides in NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), people with moderate-severe Alzheimer’s disease can combine memantine into their original medication, AChEI (acetylcholinesterase inhibitors). PBRS has reached consensus on approving the combination of the two medications for people with moderate-severe and severe Alzheimer’s disease. It is expected that in the coming five years, there will be 16000-22000 patients benefiting from the extension of the benefit package every year.
  At present, the medications for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD) within the benefit package target the children diagnosed with ADHD. According to the guidelines of NICE, for adults who haven’t been diagnosed with ADHD but still have such symptoms, they may have dangerous driving and at the risk of encountering difficulties in workplace, interpersonal and family relationships. As a result, it is imperative that adults with ADHD symptoms receive medical treatment. Before the revision on the target age group, people suitable for taking such medications are those between 6 to 18 years of age. The target age group has now extended to those above 6 years of age and under 41 years of age.  It is expected that in the coming five years, there will be 2000-4000 patients benefiting from the extension of the benefit package every year.
  Furthermore, the target age group of antimicrobial drugs, ceftaroline fosamil, has extended to new born patients. Also, to respond to the needs of critically ill patients, those ‘have been confirmed or highly suspected of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)’ can now have access to the drugs.  It is expected that in the coming five years, there will be 30-70 patients benefiting from the extension of the benefit package every year.
  To care for the underprivileged groups, the NHIA has managed to accelerate the review of new medications and distribute medical resources in a reasonable manner, which is expected to leverage the health care resources. Also, to respond to the needs of clinical medications and current trend of treatment, the NHIA will also work in collaboration with PBRS to make the best use of the payment of each medication.

  • Date:2021-09-28