Bring benefits of increasing survival rate and reducing burdens for gastric cancer patients
(TAIPEI) The validated date of reimbursement began in December. Near NT$ 400,000 annually will be saved for gastric cancer patients.
According to statistics from National Health Insurance (NHI), on average, Taiwanese suffered from gastric cancer in every 2.5 hours. Gastric cancer was ranked the 7th in cancer incidence and 5th in mortality. As the symptoms of early gastric cancer were heartburn, nausea or loss of appetite, it was easy to be confused with peptic ulcer. Diagnosed at later stage and older age, and no drugs covered by reimbursement led to a lower willingness to be treated and to limit the effectiveness.
S-1 Capsule, an oral chemotherapy, received reimbursement approval from Taiwan NHI in the treatment of adjuvant gastric cancer on December 1st. The approval was a one year adjuvant treatment of S-1 Capsule for Stage II (exclude T1) and Stage IIIA-IIIB gastric cancer patient after surgery. Based on a calculation of one year duration and 2 - 3 capsules of S-1 Capsule twice a day, after the reimbursement, patients could save near NT$ 400,000 annually, which increased patients’ wiliness to take S-1 Capsule and brought both patients’ and their families’ great benefits.
The primary treatment for early stage gastric cancer patients was surgery. Adjuvant treatments emphasized on preventing from recurrence; however, about 40% of patients who were diagnosed II and III stage gastric cancer after surgery would still relapse and nearly 90% of recurrent cases happened within 3 years. For those relapsed patients, the average survival rate was less than 10%. Dr. Ming-Tsain Lin, the chairman of Taiwan Surgical Society of Gastroenterology and the Associate Dean of National Taiwan University Hospital, stated that current surgical resection technology has been quite progressive and accurate. The key for gastric cancer prevention of recurrence after surgery was to treat with adjuvant chemotherapy. Taking oral chemotherapy (S-1) for a whole one year decreased the risk of death by 33.1% and the 5-year survival rate achieves 71.7%.
Dr. Yee Chao, Director of Department of Oncology in Taipei Veterans General Hospital, also indicated that compared with traditional chemotherapy, S-1 Capsule was the only oral drug for adjuvant chemotherapy in gastric cancer patient and also the only single use drug which brings patients benefits of improving survival rate and of reducing recurrence. Oral administration, not only saved the cost of hospitalization, but also allowed patients to have more flexibility to do what they want to do.
Oral chemotherapy is as simple as taking medicine; S-1 Capsule subverted my impression of traditional chemical therapy. “For me, I did not expect oral chemotherapy was as easy and simple as taking medicine,” she said. Yang Yang (a pseudonym) was diagnosed gastric cancer in March this year, rest at home now and took S-1 Capsule daily. She mentioned that if talking about chemotherapy, most people thought of patients with pale skin, endless drip-feeding, a long and painful life of chemotherapy left. Contrary to common impression, Yang Yang was currently receiving oral chemotherapy at home with relative relaxing mood and with her family’s companies; and even sometimes she went to market nearby. Keeping a normal life made her more optimistic and confident to fight against the cancer. “I still remember when I went back to hospital for a two-day tracking and heard other patients’ cries of pain due to injection. I felt so sad for them. The process of being injected was too hard to endure that even some patients had tried to escape in the middle of the night and had been taken back by their families. I suddenly realized how lucky I was!” She is current 33 years old and looks forward to the honeymoon in Europe with her husband after the treatment.
About TTY Biopharm Company Limited
TTY Biopharm Co., Ltd. was founded in 1960. In the past 50 years, TTY Biopharm from a manufacturing and sales-oriented traditional generic pharmaceutical companies, has grown to be a developing and sales/marketing oriented branding generic company; with continuous self-innovation, transformation, accumulated knowledge, technology and networked relationships, TTY Biopharm now strives to re-position itself as a biotechnology pharmaceutical company, focusing on developing special formulations and new drugs, and devoting to improve “the quality of life with technology and the industry status of Chinese life in the world.”