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To be in line with international treatment guidelines, the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) is proactively introducing a combination cancer immunotherapy that combines immune checkpoint inhibitors containing atezolizumab and targeted therapy drugs containing bevacizumab to treat advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. In comparison with the targeted therapy drugs currently included in the NHI package, the combination cancer immunotherapy significantly prolongs patients' overall survival by around 5.8 months. Moreover, the combination cancer immunotherapy is the recommended standard first-line treatment in international treatment guidelines. Because of relevant empirical proofs and benefits of including it in the NHI package, the Pharmaceutical Benefit and Reimbursement Scheme Joint Committee Meeting held on June 15, 2023 has decided to include this therapy in the NHI package, effective on August 1, 2023.

The NHIA understands the urgency of this matter. Therefore, after numerous negotiations for a reasonable price with relevant pharmaceutical companies, the NHIA successfully signed drug reimbursement agreements to include the combination cancer immunotherapy in the NHI package as an option of first-line treatments for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. It is estimated that about 2,072 patients will benefit from this measure and each patient can save around NT$3,000,000 each year on medications.

The NHIA cares deeply about the rights to medical treatment for patients with cancer and is always listening to the opinions and needs of the patients. However, NHI resources are limited. In addition to procuring more budgets, the NHIA endeavors to give priorities to new drugs and new treatments with empirical proofs and are truly beneficial to be included in the NHI package. Moreover, the NHIA continues to work with medical experts and patients' associations to ensure maximum benefit from each drug included in the NHI package.