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Assessment of Appropriateness of Standard for Insurance Coverage on Chemotherapy used in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)
Korean J Clin Pharm 2011;21(3):193-207
Published online September 30, 2011
© 2011 Korean College of Clinical Pharmacy.

Jeong Yeon Kim, EunJi Park, Min kyung Bae, and Jeong-Hyun Yoon

College of Pharmacy, Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul, Korea, College of Pharmacy, Pusan National University, Busan, Korea
This is an Open Access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to assess appropriateness of current standard for insurance coverage by Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service (HIRA) on chemotherapy used in the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), by reviewing a variety of clinical evidences, and thereby, if needed, to propose an updated evidence-based recommendations. Methods: We collected data from HIRA regarding on the insurance standard which includes the scope and conditions for coverage on systemic chemotherapy of NSCLC. We performed a search for clinical databases and examined the most current clinical evidence from clinical literature including various clinical practice guidelines. Based on the collected data the appropriateness of HIRA standard for insurance coverage of chemotherapy of NSCLC was assessed. Results: Collected data demonstrated that HIRA standard did not reflect the most current clinical practice and evidence. Some were inappropriately listed in HIRA formulary and accepted as a chemotherapy being covered by insurance, despite the lack of evidences of clinical efficacy or superiority over other chemotherapeutic agents or regimens. In addition, there seems to be a need for a modification on the standard for insurance coverage of certain newer chemotherapeutic agents based on the current accumulated data showing their clinical efficacy and benefits in the selected group of NSCLC patients. Therefore, we concluded that current HIRA standard for insurance coverage on chemotherapy of NSCLC needs to be revised and we proposed an updated recommendation based on these latest clinical evidences. Conclusion: The standard for insurance coverage of chemotherapy should be continually examined its appropriateness based on the most recent clinical evidences in a timely manner so as to provide the most effective and safe therapy to cancer patients.
Keywords : non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service (HIRA), chemotherapy, targeted therapy

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