Reported by Wu Liang-Yi from Taipei
The NHIA proposes scrapping the free charge for repeat prescriptions for chronic conditions. Patients will have to pay up to a maximum of NT$200 for filling a repeat prescription after the new measure put into practice in next March as proposed by the NHIA.
According to the NHI data, the population with chronic conditions was about 5.96 million in 2016 in Taiwan. Their annual drug fees were about NT$61.3 billion. The NHIA estimates that a 20% drug co-payment will help the NHI to save NT$4.3 billion on annual drug fees.
The NHIA also estimates that about 193 tons of drugs are eventually thrown away unused every year. Most of the unused drugs are for “three-high conditions”. Under current regulations, patients have to pay a 20% co-payment on drug fees, with a cap at NT$200, if the drug fees are over NT$100; however, repeat prescriptions are currently exempt from co-payment.
Dr Lee Po-Chang, the Director of the NHIA, expressed that the NHIA is going to seek public comments on the new measure and forward the proposal to the NHI Board for discussion before submitting it to the MOHW for approval. If everything goes smoothly, the new charge could be implemented in March 2018. It will affect about 5.9 million people. Patients with severe diseases or injuries, the vulnerable groups and children under three years old can apply for exemption, said the NHIA.
【2017-11-19/ Liberty Times】