Health Ministry Expanding Access to Innovative Biopharmaceutical Products

Indonesia’s Health Ministry Director General of pharmaceutical and medical devices, Rizka Andalucia has said that Indonesia is aiming to expand access to innovative biopharmaceutical products as part of efforts to provide affordable treatment, especially for cancer, according to reporting by Antara News.

“One of our strategies to give better treatment to cancer patients is through increasing access to innovative pharmaceutical and biotechnology products,” she said at the signing ceremony of a collaboration between Kalbe and Henlius on producing cancer therapy drugs in Jakarta on Monday, pointing to an increase in the number of non-communicable disease cases, including cancer.

In 2022, there were 3-million cancer cases in Indonesia whose treatment costs were covered by national health insurer BPJS Health and amounted to IDR 4.5-trillion, report Antara News.

This makes cancer the second-largest catastrophic disease and the second most deadly disease after heart disease, she said, adding that the average time it takes for a foreign innovative product to arrive in Indonesia after its global launch is 14-months.

Antara News say that given this long period and the high price of innovative treatments, patients tend to seek out treatment abroad, which is why the ministry is updating regulations to accelerate the development of the research ecosystem by supporting technology transfer, vaccines, and biotechnology products; providing incentives and non-incentives to pharmaceutical companies; and licensing medical devices by replacing them with local products.

“By producing biotechnology, Indonesia can compete with other countries and can provide more affordable treatment for national health services and the patients, especially,” Andalucia explained.

In addition, the Health Ministry is building a sustainable ecosystem to develop the pharmaceutical industry, biological product vaccines, and medical devices with affirmative action on the side of research and development, production, and supply chains, and to support this, the ministry is also enabling collaborations between local industry players and global companies to build adequate capacity for biopharmaceutical products, she said.

This means developing regional pharmaceutical resilience and the medical equipment industry, then Indonesia can reach all therapies and diagnostics quickly and speed up emergency treatment at affordable prices, Andalucia said.

In line with this, the ministry’s director of pharmaceutical resilience and medical devices, Roy Himawan, said his party welcomes every strategic partnership initiative between the domestic and global industries to increase technological capacity and reach export markets as part of the health transformation, say Antara News.

“It is time for us to move forward. We should not rely on the domestic market, but also reach foreign markets to export. This is part of our agenda in health transformation to be more resilient,” he added. 

Source: Antara News

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels

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