Korean J Clin Pharm.  2020 Sep;30(3):177-184. 10.24304/kjcp.2020.30.3.177.

The Opinion of Experts and Stakeholder on Introduction of Orphan or Anticancer Drugs Funding Program

  • 1Department of Research, Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service, Gangwon-do 26467, Republic of Korea
  • 2Korea Institute for Pharmaceutical Policy Affairs, Seoul 06708, Republic of Korea


& objective: The Korean government has expanded its benefit coverage to enhance patients' access to orphan drugs and cancer medicines. However, the number of new drugs whose indications were not applied to reimbursement in health insurance was increased. This study aimed to understand the perspectives of experts and various stakeholders on the introduction of a new funding program for cancer treatment and orphan drugs.
We conducted email surveys comprising 19 questions, from September 9 to 26, 2016. We distributed questionnaires to members of the Pharmaceutical Benefit Appraisal Committee and Cancer Assessment Committee. We also conducted a qualitative study through group interviews with stakeholders, including pharmaceutical companies and some patient groups for diseases.
A total of 35 survey respondents recommended the introduction of a funding program for orphan drugs, whereas 66% recommended the launch of funding for anticancer drugs. In addition, most pharmaceutical companies and patient groups recommended the introduction of new funding programs targeting patients with cancer and rare diseases. However, some participants asserted that it would be more appropriate to modify the existing reimbursement scheme than launch new funding.
This study concluded that introducing new funding needs a social consensus to relieve financial hardships at the patient level.


Benefit coverage; funding; survey; interview
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