The first batch of imported new drugs under a cross-border medical program is expected to be accessible in Shenzhen as soon as June, Lo Chung-mau, chief executive of the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital (HKU-SZH), said in a media interview Monday.
The program called Gangyaotong (港药通), which literally means Hong Kong Medicine Connection, enables drugs and medical equipment that are already on the Hong Kong market to be used in Shenzhen and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area after approval.
HKU-SZU will be the first medical institution in Shenzhen to pilot the introduction of imported new drugs and medical devices.
According to Lo, the first batch of 54 drugs and medical devices for approval is selected mainly based on its clinical importance, which is deemed urgently needed and will improve patients’ conditions to a certain extent compared with the existing drugs and medical devices on the Chinese mainland.
The drugs and medical devices are also chosen because they have no substitutes on the mainland for the time being.
Lo said these drugs have been used in Hong Kong for a long time and have been proven to be safe and effective for Chinese patients.
The imported new drugs cover obstetrics and gynecology, oncology, dermatology, treatment of rare diseases, and the new medical equipment cover orthopedics, cardiology and surgery.
In the future, the program’s drug list will be dynamically adjusted based on actual demand, according to Lo.
Lo disclosed that after the program is rolled out, there will be no specific restrictions for the use of the drugs, as long as the patients meet the clinical indications confirmed by the doctors in the hospital. But doctors who prescribe these new drugs shall require certain qualifications.
According to Shenzhen Special Zone Daily, a third-party agency will be in charge of the price negotiation and purchase of these drugs after the official list is approved by the provincial drug authorities.