The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) has partnered Janssen Pharmaceuticals to provide drugs to patients with prostate cancer.
The partnership will see Janssen Pharmaceuticals providing drugs used for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer at a subsidized rate to NHIF members. The prescription drug, Zytiga (Abiraterone) will be available to NHIF members from selected public and private medical facilities.
Cancer is one of the major non-communicable diseases in Kenya and ranks third as a cause of death after infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases. It is estimated that there are 40,000 new cases annually and approximately 28,000 cancer related deaths every year.
NHIF introduced the cancer treatment reimbursement scheme two years ago for all its’ National Scheme members. The Scheme reimburses up-to a maximum of Ksh. 600,000 a year for all cancers. NHIF spent Ksh. 1.36 billion in the financial year 2017/ 2018 as payment towards oncology (cancer) treatments representing an 11% increase from the previous year.
Currently, the NHIF care package entails up to 10 chemotherapy sessions, oral and injectable anti-cancers drugs, inpatient and outpatient oncology services, 20 sessions for radio therapy, and up to two sessions for Brachytherapy for advanced cancer, per year. Among the health facilities that offer the package include some level five and six hospitals, and selected private hospitals.
NHIF covers six sessions for the first line treatment for up to Ksh. 25,000 per session, four sessions for the second and third line treatment for up to Ksh. 150,000 per session and 20 sessions of radiotherapy at Ksh3,600 per session. Biopsy is covered under the surgical package. Radiology is also done during the diagnosis stage, and this include MRIs, ultrasounds, or CT scan and PET scan, also covered by NHIF.