The government said it has agreed with Guerbet Korea to raise the price of contrast medium Lipiodol, ending the supply shortage of the drug. Lipiodol is the only agent used in surgeries for liver cancer patients.
The National Health Insurance Service said on Tuesday that it has concluded the Lipiodol pricing negotiations with the drugmaker. NHIS, however, did not disclose the final price of the drug.
The two sides could reach an agreement after a series of extensions of the talks, which were supposed to end on Monday last week.
The decision came three months after Guerbet Korea requested a price hike of Lipiodol to cover the supply cost.
The company had demanded Lipiodol price be lifted to 262,800 won ($233) per bottle, five times higher than 52,560 won.
On March 7, the pharmaceutical firm announced it would discontinue the supply of Lipiodol and demanded the drug’s price be lifted, citing a low price and a global supply shortage. On April 23, the company requested the authorities to guarantee the recovery of the production cost.
On May 31, the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service held a meeting of pharmaceutical reimbursement assessment committee to exclude Lipiodol from shortage-prevention drugs, to adjust the maximum price of Lipiodol. On June 8, the ministry’s health insurance policy review committee made a final decision to take out Lipiodol from the list of shortage-prevention drugs and put the delisting to notice on June 11.
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