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Patient Workshop - Drug Accessibility and Affordability

Over 60 patients , representative from Hong Kong’s Legislative Council and HKAPI members gathered for the Patient Empowerment Workshop organized on 24 March 2018. Representatives from more than 20 patient groups had an extensive exchange of views on how to improve the current system of drug enlistment and patient subsidization.

The workshop focused on issues related to drug accessibility and affordability in Hong Kong. Ms. Sui Wong, representative of the HKAPI, explained the current drug enlistment system in government hospitals. Then Mr. K P Tsang, President of Hong Kong Alliance of Rare Diseases, introduced the principles of patient advocacy and examined its development at home and overseas. Mr. Tim Pang Hung-cheong, community organizer of the Society for Community Organization, introduced the detail of the current patient support programs run by the government , NGOs as well as the pharmaceutical companies.

The workshop was complemented by two discussions attended by the speakers. Patients and members also shared their views during the discussions, particularly on how to strengthen the role of pharma companies to expedite the enlistment process.

Ms. Sabrina Chan, senior executive director of the HKAPI, said the pharmaceutical industry has been working closely with the government to promote different risk-sharing programs such as performance-based programs, in order to help the patients in need. She believed that more could be done by multiple stakeholders to lessen the financial burden of patients.

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