Local News

More anti-cancer drugs on insurance list


SHENZHEN residents are now able to get reimbursed for specific anti-cancer drugs as the city has added 17 anti-cancer drugs to medical insurance coverage to further ease the financial burden on patients, the Shenzhen Evening News reported yesterday.

According to Shenzhen Luohu Hospital Group, the 17 drugs have been added to the group’s medical insurance list, increasing the total number to 35.

An 80-year-old surnamed Wang is a lung cancer patient who needs to take a drug called Osimertinib. Before the drug price reduction, the price of the medicine was 51,000 yuan (US$7,447) per month at the patient’s own expense.

However, now the price has been cut to 15,300 yuan. Moreover, as the drug can be covered by medical insurance at a maximum rate of 90 percent, the patient only has to pay 1,530 yuan.

Wang is just one of the many beneficiaries of the price reduction. The 17 patented drugs include 12 for solid tumor treatment, and the other five are for hematological neoplasm treatment, which is applicable to non-small cell lung cancer, renal cancer, colorectal cancer, melanoma, lymphoma, leukemia and more.

The prices of these anti-cancer drugs dropped significantly after their inclusion in medical insurance coverage. The price of Ibrutinib, a drug for chronic lymphoblastic leukemia, saw the biggest drop, as it was decreased by nearly 80 percent.

The State Administration of Medical Insurance conducted negotiations with domestic and overseas pharmaceutical companies to lower the prices and put more anti-cancer drugs under medical insurance in July 2018. The drug authority approved the inclusion of the 17 anti-cancer drugs Oct. 10, 2018.