A state-run health insurance review agency has refused to grant insurance benefit to Neuronata-R Injection, Corestem’s treatment for Lou Gehrig’s disease, due to its low cost-effectiveness.
The Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service made the decision at a meeting of the pharmaceutical reimbursement assessment committee on Thursday.
Corestem obtained approval for Neuronata-R (autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell) as the nation’s fourth stem cell therapy in 2014. However, the drug reimbursement assessment committee said the treatment’s cost-effectiveness was unclear, ruling that it cannot be reimbursed.
In contrast, the committee allowed Projenius Medical Care Korea’s Velphoro Chewable Tab., a new drug for controlling serum and phosphorus in patients with chronic kidney disease, to receive insurance benefit. The regulator granted the sales license of the drug last year.
Projenius Medical Care Korea only has the final step of drug pricing negotiations with the National Health Insurance Service for reimbursement of Velphoro Chewable. If the Ministry of Health and Welfare gets the result of the pharmaceutical reimbursement assessment committee’s review on the drug and orders a drug pricing negotiation, the NHIS has 60 days to talk with the drugmaker to set the drug’s price.
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