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Expensive Drug Support Scheme

2 July 2019

The aim of the Expensive Drug Support Scheme is to make recommendations to pharmaceutical companies to provide discounts to patients who need the use of certain expensive drugs but cannot afford to pay for full cost of these medications. The applicant must be the Hong Kong resident and must certify diagnosis with any arthritis diseases by physicians. The Foundation will verify the application according to the applicants’ economical condition and their needs. For enquiries, please contact HKARF or Medical Social Workers in hospitals under Hospital Authority.

There are 7 medications under the scheme:

  • Adalimumab (Humira®)
  • Certolizumab (Cimzia®)
  • Etanercept (Enbrel®)
  • Golimumab (Simponi®)
  • Ixekizumab (Taltz® )
  • Tofacitinib (Xeljanz®)
  • Upadacitinib (RINVOQ®)

Please click below link to download the application form and guideline:

The application procedure:

FAQ about EDSS

Q1. Who is eligible to apply the Expensive Drug Support Scheme?
Ans: The patients suffered from arthritis diseases, who need to use the specific medication under the scheme, can apply the scheme with the recommendation form by Rheumatologists from public hospitals.

Q2. Can the patients from a private clinic or private hospital apply the scheme?
Ans: No, it is because all the applicants need to have a financial assessment by medical social workers in public hospitals.

Q3. How to apply the scheme?
Ans: The rheumatic patients who have the doctor recommendation form can visit the medical social welfare department and the medical social workers will process the application. The Foundation needs around 2 weeks to approve the application and the result of the applications will be sent to the applicants, related social workers and the doctors who made the referrals.

Q4. Is the medication fee reimbursed to the applicants?
Ans: No free medication should be provided to the patients under the scheme and no money will be involved.

Q5. How do the applicants get free medications?
Ans: For those using Infliximab (Remicade®), the patients will get 2 free infusions at the hospital provided by physicians.

Other than that, the patients using Etanercept (Enbrel®), Adalimumab (Humira®), Golimumab (Simponi®), Tofacitinib (Xeljanz®) and Certolizumab (Cimzia®) need to mail the receipts of purchasing the medication to the Foundation and our staff will arrange the patients to the specific community pharmacy to get the free medications.


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