On 07 November 2022, the OIC-Secretary of Health (SOH) approved the Health Technology Assessment (HTAC) recommendation for the government financing of remdesivir (100mg lyophilized powder) for adult patients with COVID-19 requiring hospitalization through its inclusion in the Philippine National Formulary (PNF).
This HTAC recommendation serves as an update of the interim HTAC recommendation on the procurement and/or reimbursement of remdesivir for adult population (10 May 2021) with the condition that the Department of Health shall secure the appropriate regulatory authorization from the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The HTAC noted that on 27 December 2021, the Philippine FDA issued the Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) with a monitored release status for remdesivir for adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kg) for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) requiring hospitalization. In light of this development, the HTAC considered the following in revisiting its previous recommendation:
- Approval of local and international national regulatory agencies (NRAs) for the use of remdesivir for the adult population
- Acceptable efficacy and safety profile of remdesivir for the adult population as reported in the review of the COVID-19 living NMA
- Total annual cost to the government for using remdesivir for the adult population
- Considering the total number of users from PhilHealth data, the government will spend the following amount for the use of remdesivir in the adult population with COVID-19 requiring hospitalization
- The total annual cost to the government of remdesivir treatment for hospitalized adult patients aged 18 years old and older is at Php 797,267,251.80 and Php 1,450,562,894.20 for the 5-day and 10-day regimen, respectively
- The total annual cost to the government of remdesivir treatment for adults with severe to critical COVID-19 is estimated at Php 260,876,912.40 and Php 474,644,315.60 for the 5-day and 10-day regimen, respectively.
As for the inclusion of remdesivir for the pediatric population in the PNF, the HTAC is still collecting evidence on the effectiveness of remdesivir and shall release a separate recommendation for this indication once available.
The recommendation of HTAC did not undergo an appeals process since it is classified under the expedited track with regard to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Link to the Department Circular: bit.ly/HTAC_DC2022-0593
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