Rituximab to be Included in Taiwan’s National Health Insurance (NHI) Program to Treat Pemphigus Vulgaris

Central News Agency (CNA) file photo.

Several new drugs used to treat different types of cancer are to be included in the national health insurance (NHI) program for the first time later this year, a government agency said on Tuesday, September 8.

In a press release, the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) announced that following an Aug. 20 meeting, it was decided that new medicines for treating triple-negative breast cancer, ovarian cancer, follicular lymphoma and medullary carcinoma will be covered by the program in November.

In addition, rituximab, a biologic agent that can treat pemphigus vulgaris, will also be added to the program, benefiting about 600 patients suffering from the blistering autoimmune disease that affects the skin and mucous membrane. Currently, severe pemphigus vulgaris patients can only be treated with steroids which often have noticeable side effects, Huang said.

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