The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission
The Straits Times report discussed how changes to MediShield Life could affect the cost of cancer treatments. It cited comments by A/Prof Jeremy Lim, A/Prof Chia Ngee Choon and Asst Prof Cynthia Chen from NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health ( SSHSPH), as well as Dr Chee Cheng Ean, Senior Consultant, Department of Haematology-Oncology, National University Cancer Institute Singapore (NCIS).
A/Prof Lim said that the overriding focus is on controlling costs, and that a drug deemed to be non-cost-effective at the national level might work very well for certain individuals due to their genetic make-up or other factors. Hence, mechanisms need to be firmly established to enable patients who do not fit into the framework to have easy recourse to appeal and fair consideration.
A/Prof Chia commented that the latest changes to the claims criteria will nudge patients in the direction of more cost-effective treatment and help plug the information gap that patients have regarding cancer treatment. Asst Prof Chen said that national-level negotiations may give Singapore even more bargaining power, taking into consideration the larger market share it would represent.
Dr Chee highlighted that for cancers that do not respond to conventional treatment, patients are encouraged to participate in clinical trials where there are opportunities for new treatment options.Media ArticlesNCIS in the NewsNUHS in the News