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Drugs for Rare Diseases supported by Public Health Service in Hong Kong

The Hospital Authority (“HA”) has implemented the Drug Formulary (“the Formulary”) since 2005 .
At present, there are four categories of drugs in the HA Drug Formulary:

General Drugs
These are drugs with well-established indications and cost- effectiveness which are available for general use as indicated by patients with relevant clinical conditions and provided at standard fees and charges in public hospitals and clinics.

Special Drugs
These are drugs used under specific clinical conditions with specific specialist authorisation.  Special drugs are provided at standard fees and charges in public hospitals and clinics when prescribed under specific clinical conditions.  Patients who do not meet the specified clinical conditions but choose to use Special drugs are required to pay for the drugs.

Self-financed Items (SFIs) with Safety Net
These are drugs which are proven to be of significant clinical benefits but extremely expensive for HA to provide as part of its standard services.  These drugs are not covered by the standard fees and charges in public hospitals and clinics.  Patients who require these drugs and can afford the costs have to purchase the drugs at their own expense.  A safety net(Samaritan Fund (SF) or the Community Care Fund Medical Assistance Programme) is provided through relevant funds to subsidize the drug expenses of patients who have financial difficulties.

SFIs without Safety Net
These include drugs with preliminary medical evidence only, drugs with marginal benefits over available alternatives but at significant higher costs, and lifestyle drugs (e.g. anti-obesity drugs). These drugs are not provided as part of HA’s standard services nor covered by the standard fees and charges in public hospitals and clinics.  Patients who choose to use these drugs must purchase them at their own expense.

Credit to :Hospital Authority

It means rare diseases patients need to pay for the drug according to the type in the Formulary.