Despite advances in achieving universal healthcare coverage, there are pervasive problems in reimbursable access to anticancer drugs in Thailand. Patients face delays in access to drugs and cancer remains a leading, preventable cause of premature mortality. The roots of the problem are twofold – the rapid pace of drug development, and current evaluation/funding methodologies in Thailand.
Local success stories include the extensive use of managed entry agreements [MEAs] in Taiwan and South Korea, Cancer Drug Fund [CDF]-type funds in the UK and several Asian countries, coverage with evidence development [CED] and flexible ICER thresholds. Thailand makes minimal use of mechanisms that are concretely used elsewhere within Asia and globally. There is a growing need to design and implement novel evaluation and funding methodologies that respect healthcare system sustainability, rapid patient access, equity, and distribution of risk between payer, manufacturer, and other stakeholders in Thailand.