Sanofi said it would run a program to support part of the cost of Dupixent, a new biologic agent for severe atopic dermatitis, for Korean patients until the drug gets insurance coverage.
The company made the decision regardless of the results of the review on the health insurance for Dupixent, in a meeting of the Health Insurance and Review and Assessment Service (HIRA)’s Pharmaceutical Reimbursement Evaluation Committee on Thursday.
|Sanofi’s Dupixent, a treatment for severe atopic dermatitis|
As the discussion with HIRA over the insurance benefit for Dupixent dragged, Sanofi decided to ease the burden for patients receiving Dupixent treatment, it said.
Sanofi-Aventis Korea persuaded the headquarters aggressively to implement the patient support program, industry sources said.
“Sanofi-Aventis Korea is discussing the insurance benefit for Dupixent with the health authorities. Both the government and our company are doing their best to give Dupixent reimbursement, but it will take some time inevitably. To reduce treatment burdens for patients, we decided to run the ‘partial drug cost support program,’” an official at Sanofi-Aventis Korea said.
People aged 18 or older with atopic dermatitis will qualify for the drug cost support program. The support will be given, taking into account the objectively identified severity of the disease, the patient’s financial status, and the medical value of continuous therapy using Dupixent, it said.
People eligible for the program are patients with moderate to severe adult atopic dermatitis, aged 18 years or older, whose disease is not controlled adequately by topical treatments or who do not get a recommendation to use topical therapies. Patients should not have any other alternatives except for Dupixent with the doctor confirming the therapeutic value to continue Dupixent treatment. Patients should have income less than 180 percent of the median income as of 2019. Also, patients should have a record that the doctor prescribed three packs (six syringes) of Dupixent within a month after the submission of related documents.
The company will run the program from Oct. 21, and all hospitals and clinics prescribing Dupixent can participate in the program. Sanofi said it would notify the details at the start of the program.
“We are thoroughly preparing to operate the program without any mistake. As the cooperation with medical institutions, distribution partners, and many organizations will be very important, we are discussing it,” an official at Sanofi said.
Later on Thursday, HIRA’s Pharmaceutical Reimbursement Evaluation Committee voted in favor of giving reimbursement to Dupixent.
The last stage for the reimbursement will be the drugmaker’s drug pricing negotiation with the National Health Insurance Service and the price decision by the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Health Insurance Policy Review Committee.