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Interferon, Kaletra to get insurance benefit for new coronavirus treatment
  • By Kim Yun-mi
  • Published 2020.02.04 16:39
  • Updated 2020.02.04 16:39
  • comments 0

The government said it would allow health insurance benefits for patients who received interferon or combo therapy of lopinavir plus ritonavir, for treating the confirmed or suspected new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare announced a revision of details in reimbursement criteria and methods on Monday. The revision added 2019-nCov to the existing section of the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome)-CoV.

The government also amended the details to allow a full reimbursement for a patient, instead of asking a patient to pay part of the cost that exceeds the limited use of the reimbursable drug.

The reimbursement will be available for patients confirmed with the new coronavirus infection or with a suspected infection of the virus. Such patients should receive either the combo of interferon (including peginterferon, not recommended for monotherapy) with lopinavir+ritonavir or lopinavir+ritonavir only, for 10 to 14 days. If necessary, a physician may adjust the administration period.

“There is insufficient data on the study of the new coronavirus infection. However, given the World Health Organization’s declaration of the public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) and the urgency of clinical care, we will expand reimbursement benefits above the approval condition,” the health and welfare ministry said.

In Korea, AbbVie’s Kaletra is the only authorized combo drug mixing lopinavir with ritonavir.


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