All questions

Pricing and reimbursement

Apart from a national medical savings scheme (Medisave) and a health insurance scheme for Singapore citizens and permanent residents (Medishield Life),117 patients receive drug subsidies based on their paying status and the scheme under which the drug is covered (e.g., the Standard Drug List and Medication Assistance Fund).118 Subsidised drugs cover up to 90 per cent of the total volume of public medication prescriptions and are reviewed and updated regularly by the MOH.119 Subsidies are also provided for medical devices, such as implants.120 In 2014, the government launched the Pioneer Generation Package, which provides senior citizens who were born before 1950 and obtained citizenship before 1987 with additional discounts on subsidised medications, as well as subsidies on their Medishield Life premiums.121 In August 2018, the government launched the Merdeka Generation Package for Singaporeans born in the 1950s, to help them cope with healthcare and other expenses, covering areas such as outpatient subsidies, Medisave account top-ups, MediShield Life premium subsidies and payouts for long-term care.122

Health technology assessments are carried out by the Healthcare Technology Assessment (HTA) Unit under the auspices of the MOH. As part of its health technology assessments, the HTA Unit carries out reviews and cost-effectiveness analyses, and develops clinical practice guidelines in Singapore.123