High Insurance Coverage and Financial Support for Effective Cancer Drugs in I.R. Iran
AbstractBackground: In recent years, financial coverage and availability of new and expensive cancer drugs have changed into one of the challenges of the health system, especially in low-income and middle-income countries,. We studied the availability ofanticancer drugs, insurance coverage and the financial burden of these drugs in Iran.Methods: In this cross-sectional descriptive study, first, we listed effective cancer drugs according to the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicinesand previous studies. Then, we evaluated financial burden of these drugs byusing the available data in Iran pharmaceutical Pharmacopoeia, the national pharmaceuticalsales statistics database (pharmaceutical Amarnameh), and inquiry of theinsurance organizations, the availability, insurance coverage in Iran. Excel softwarewas used for data analysis.Results: All of the medicines incorporated into the latest version of the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines were available in Iran, and, except for Bendamustine and Anastrazole all medicines were covered by insurance. In addition, of the 19 drugs,those were not on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, there were sevendrugs in Iran, insurance covered that six drugs. The total Dollar sales of the studiedcancer drugs amounted to US$350.85 million in 2015 and US$384.96 million in 2016.Conclusion: It seems that the status of access to effective cancer drugs in Iran is better than many low and middle-income countries. However, since the cost of cancerdrugs is rising, health policy makers inevitably need to prioritize cancer drugs by using the results of health technology assessment methods and provide patients withaccess to drugs that are cost-effective in order to the optimal allocation of limitedresources and provide maximum access to cancer drugs throughout the country.
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