สำนักงานหลักประกันสุขภาพแห่งชาติ (สปสช.)
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News And Events

Access to costly drugs benefited over 30,000 Thais and saved billions in 2018, highest in eight years.

25 February 2019 --- Dr Sukhum Karnchanapimai, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Public Health and chairman of the essential drug and medical supply procurement planning committee, announced improved access to medicine as one of the key achievements of the Universal Coverage Scheme (UCS) managed by the National Health Security Office (NHSO).

       The Ministry of Public Health, in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration, and NHSO, has designed a system to improve drug access and reimbursement, storage, usage and quality information to fulfil medical needs of patients without incurring financial burden on both the patient and service provider. 

Since 2017, Rajavithi Hospital, acting on behalf of the Ministry of Public Health, has played the leading role in procuring drugs, medical supplies and artificial organs to health facilities under the UCS, allowing high-cost drugs, orphan drugs and antidotes to reach 32,528 patients (16,829 new patients).

From 2010 – 2018, 101,000 patients could access essential, high-cost drugs: bevacizumab for aged-related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema (10,994 patients); letrozole for advanced breast cancer (8,543 patients); botulinum toxin type A for hemifacial spasm (3,743 patients); peginterferon for hepatitis C (1,857 patients); and docetaxel for lung and prostate cancer (1,595 patients).

The Malayan pit-viper antivenom accounted for the majority of orphan drugs and antidotes prescribed during the period (1,889 out of 5,312 patients), followed by green pit-viper antivenom (1,527 patients); polyvalent antivenom for hematoxylin (870 patients); polyvalent antivenom for neurotoxin (189 patients); and Russell’s viper antivenom (144 patients).

The effort has saved the government as much as 44,430.84 million THB in total. In 2017, the savings of 8,567.48 million THB has been the most substantial ever made since the launch of the program.

Dr Karnchanapimai attributed the success to all sectors: specialists, health facilities and the community. The UCS model to improve supply and supply chain has received continuous interest from countries wishing to implement Thailand’s good practices to their UHC policy.