Different policy outcomes of the new drugs and currently listed drugs under the positive list system in South Korea

Eui Kyung Lee, Bo Yeon Kim, Jae Young Lim, Mi Hai Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Four years have passed since the positive list system was implemented in South Korea. The system was received well because it has fulfilled its intended objective of enhancing the cost-effectiveness of new drugs. With regard to currently listed drugs, however, debate has lingered since the reevaluation of the cost-effectiveness by therapeutic group. This study intended to review the lessons learned and compromises reached in implementing an evidence-based national formulary. Currently listed drugs are very different from new drugs. In terms of effectiveness, the level of existing evidence tends to be lower for currently listed drugs. Also, the evaluation plan was quite delayed because of the vast amount of literature. In the political decision-making process, a coalition was formed by the pharmaceutical companies with physicians, and the government had difficulty responding because of the strong resistance against the reevaluation of currently listed drugs. Although idealistic, it was an attempt to apply the same standard of cost-effectiveness for currently listed drugs as that for new drugs. To successfully implement the system, however, some factors that need to be considered were limitation of available evidence on currently listed drugs and specific strategies employed against political resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S100-S103
JournalValue in Health
Issue number1 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan


  • drug expenditure
  • economic evaluation
  • positive list
  • reimbursement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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