Singapore-On Friday (June 17th), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said that if public health funds are “freely expanded to very expensive and new cancer treatments,” the cost of cancer treatment will inevitably rise. I said it would be.

In a letter to The Straits Times, MOH’s Head of Treasury Policy, Lydia Loh, said premiums would rise and the overall impact would reduce affordability for most people.

With future changes in her cancer treatment funding, pharmaceutical companies have already reduced the price of cancer treatments by an average of 30% to benefit from MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plans (IP) -based subsidies and health insurance. I added that.

President Roh responded to ST’s article published earlier this week. There, senior health correspondent Salma Khalik urged the ministry to reconsider the change to cancer treatment funding.

These changes, scheduled to begin in September, will limit MediShield Life and IP coverage to a list of clinically proven and cost-effective anticancer drugs. Is included.

This list has specific rules about how each drug is used for treatment.

This means that “non-indication” drug use (for example, new drugs that have not yet been officially approved by the regulatory agency, or existing drugs that are not listed for use in a particular cancer) will be excluded. To do.

This is despite the fact that patients can benefit significantly from non-indications after standard treatment fails.

In her response, Ms. Loh stated that non-indications have not been approved by the Health Sciences Authority for use in certain situations. This is usually because there is not enough clinical evidence to confirm its safety and efficacy.

“We understand that non-indications can give patients and their loved ones a very necessary hope,” she said.

“Therefore, oncologists can prescribe such medicines, but without subsidies, there is a MediShield Life or Integrated Shield Plan coverage. Also, patients weigh risks and costs with doctors and insurance companies. I hope to make informed decisions. “

She added that there is a private insurance system that covers non-adaptive anticancer drugs. Patients who have been evaluated by public health institutions as needing unlisted anticancer drugs and have difficulty purchasing them can apply for government support such as the MediFund.

MOH will also facilitate referral of private patients to subsidized care, she said.

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