Vietnam Social Security agrees to extend provision of free-of-charge medicine

In its document to the Ministry of Health, the Vietnam Social Security agreed to extend provision of free-of-charge medicine to support cancer patients.

Patients are waiting for their turn to receive drugs (Photo: SGGP)

Patients are waiting for their turn to receive drugs (Photo: SGGP)

After an article on Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper published on that thousand of cancer patients are worrying over shortage of Glivec, Tasigna including chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML) and gastro-intestinal stromal tumors.
The Ministry of Health and the Vietnam Social Security worked upon the matter reaching an agreement that free-of-charge tablets will be provided to cancer patients in January and February.
The solution is just temporary while waiting for the amendment of the circular on how much insurers will pay for medicine, biological products, and radioactive drugs.
According to the old circular, producers will reduce the cost of medicine ( by 65 percent ), the insurance agency will cover 80- 100 percent and patients will pay the remaining.
From December 31, 2019, the program to provide medicine gratis to cancer patients ended and the financial aid has ceased.
For years, Glivec tablets have been given gratis to Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi, the Central Hospital in Thua Thien – Hue, Cho Ray Hospital in Hanoi, the Tumor Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Hospital of Haematology and Blood Transfussion in HCMC and the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion in Hanoi
Presently, about 3,000 Vietnamese patients are taking Glivec or Tasigna. The health fund pays VND225 million – VND413 million per patient yearly and nearly 1,500 patients receive the medicine free of charge.
After the Ministry and the Security reached to an agreement to continue providing free medicines, cancer patients have received Glivec tablets.

By Nguyen Quoc - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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